Coherent control of pulsed X-ray beams

M. F. DeCamp, D. A. Reis, P. H. Bucksbaum, B. Adams, J. M. Caraher, R. Clarke, C. W.S. Conover, E. M. Dufresne, R. Merlin, V. Stoica, J. K. Wahlstrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Synchrotrons produce continuous trains of closely spaced X-ray pulses. Application of such sources to the study of atomic-scale motion requires efficient modulation of these beams on timescales ranging from nanoseconds to femtoseconds. However, ultrafast X-ray modulators are not generally available. Here we report efficient subnanosecond coherent switching of synchrotron beams by using acoustic pulses in a crystal to modulate the anomalous low-loss transmission of X-ray pulses. The acoustic excitation transfers energy between two X-ray beams in a time shorter than the synchrotron pulse width of about 100 ps. Gigahertz modulation of the diffracted X-rays is also observed. We report different geometric arrangements, such as a switch based on the collision of two counter-propagating acoustic pulses: this doubles the X-ray modulation frequency, and also provides a means of observing a localized transient strain inside an opaque material. We expect that these techniques could be scaled to produce subpicosecond pulses, through laser-generated coherent optical phonon modulation of X-ray diffraction in crystals. Such ultrafast capabilities have been demonstrated thus far only in laser-generated X-ray sources, or through the use of X-ray streak cameras1,6.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)825-828
Number of pages4
Issue number6858
StatePublished - Oct 25 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Coherent control of pulsed X-ray beams'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this