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25 January 2001 Femtosecond x-ray diffraction: experiments and limits
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Although the realisation of femtosecond X-ray free electron laser (FEL) X-ray pulses is still some time away, X-ray diffraction experiments within the sub-picosecond domain are already being performed using both synchrotron and laser- plasma based X-ray sources. Within this paper we summarise the current status of some of these experiments which, to date, have mainly concentrated on observing non-thermal melt and coherent phonons in laser-irradiated semiconductors. Furthermore, with the advent of FEL sources, X-ray pulse lengths may soon be sufficiently short that the finite response time of monochromators may themselves place fundamental limits on achievable temporal resolution. A brief review of time-dependent X-ray diffraction relevant to such effects is presented.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.

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