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28 September 2009 X-ray laser developments at PHELIX
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The PHELIX laser at the GSI Helmholtz center for heavy-ion research is dedicated to provide high energy, ultra-intense laser pulses for experiments in combination with energetic ion beams. Development of x-ray lasers is targeting a number of applications in this context, including x-ray laser spectroscopy of highly-charged ions, and Thomson scattering diagnostics of heavy-ion driven plasmas. Recent developments centered on the application of a novel double-pulse pumping scheme under GRIP-like, non-normal incidence geometry for both the pre- and the main pulse for transient pumped Ni-like lasers. This scheme considerably simplifies the set-up, and provides a very stable pumping situation even at low pump energies close to the lasing threshold. The technique was scaled to pulse energies above 100 J for the pumping of shorter wavelength x-ray lasers. In addition, a slightly tunable high-harmonic source using a split-off beam from the Nd:Glass pre-amplifier of PHELIX was developed as a seeding source.
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