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9 September 2019 Spectrometers and monochromators for femtosecond soft x-ray sources
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The interest in ultrafast time resolved spectrometry with soft x-rays considerably increased during the last decade mainly because of the development of new ultra-short pulse sources at large scale facilities, X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) as well as laboratory scale facilities such as laser-produced plasma (LPP), high harmonics generators (HHG), gas jet isolated atto-second X-ray pulse generators (IPP), relativistic oscillating mirror HHG (RHHG) and time-resolved electron-beam micro-analyzers. Fast progress in all areas demonstrated the ability of modern instrumentation even in laboratories, to reach energy ranges of the so-called “water window” and beyond up to 1000 eV with a pulse duration down to several femto-seconds. In opposite to XFEL giants, emitting presently at photon energies up to 20 keV – 30 keV with tremendous power of several GWatt, laboratory sources emit several order of magnitude lower photon flux and need therefore extremely efficient optics for flux and temporal characteristics preservation. Unfortunately, solutions available in UV, such as conical gratings, are no longer applicable in the photon energy range above 200 eV.

Reflection zone plates (RZP) and 2-dimensional variable line spacing (VLS) gratings are serving as a combination of three functions in one optical element (reflection, energy dispersion and focusing). They were used for the development of different types of spectrometers and monochromators with femtosecond time resolution in the soft x-ray energy range. In this paper, we also suggest to combine two identical RZPs placed in opposite orders of diffraction (+1 and -1) for compensation of time elongation of fs soft X-ray pulses down to several fs.
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Alexei Erko, Christoph Braig, and Heike Löchel "Spectrometers and monochromators for femtosecond soft x-ray sources", Proc. SPIE 11108, Advances in X-Ray/EUV Optics and Components XIV, 111080J (9 September 2019);

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