Central Laser Facility High Power Laser Capabilities Applied to X-Ray Laser Science
Soft X-ray lasers have been developed at the Central Laser Facility (CLF) of the Science and Technology Facilities Council over the last three decades by an active UK and international research community. The Vulcan Nd:glass Laser has been the primary drive system for these developments, providing pump pulses from nano- to pico- seconds, firing one shot every 20 minutes. An upgraded Vulcan facility is due to come on line in September 2008 with dual pico-second high energy beam lines (1 ps, 100 J and 10 ps, 500 J) combined with long pulse (80 ps, 40 J — 4 ns, 300 J) capability. Recent developments in laser technology have meant that the CLF has increased its ultra short pulse capabilities. The Ti:Sapphire Astra-Gemini laser facility, which came on-line in early 2008, gives 20 second shot turnaround times and ultra short pulses (30fs, 15J). The new opportunities which these drive systems enable for soft x-ray laser science, source development and applications will be presented.
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