According to foreign media reports, as the world’s first laser facility capable of generating X-rays, the European X-ray free electron laser device has launched the first laser pulse, which is the last important milestone before it was officially put into use in September. .
The unit is installed in a facility with a total length of 3.4 km, most of which is located in the underground tunnel. The X-ray laser pulse has a wavelength of 0.8 nm and is about 500 times shorter than the visible wavelength. The first shot of the laser pulse is repeated at 1 pulse per second and then increased to 2.7 million pulses per second.
European XFEL Managing Director Robert Feidenhans'l said: “This is an important testimony that we and our partners have worked hard for many years. The European XFEL produced the first X-ray laser. This is from Germany and Europe. The facilities that 11 countries participated in the research finally passed its first large-scale test. Colleagues participating in the European XFEL and DESY projects and our international partners also made outstanding achievements. This is also a great success in European and global scientific cooperation. We can now direct the X-rays of the special mirror to the laboratory through the last tunnel, and then gradually start the commissioning of the experimental station. I am very much looking forward to official use in September this year.”
European XFEL X-ray lasers are more intense than traditional synchrotron sources, which is 1 billion times brighter. The achievable laser wavelengths are consistent with atomic size, which means that X-rays can be used to generate nanocosmos (eg, biomolecule) images at atomic resolution to better understand the cause of the disease or to develop new therapies.
Other application opportunities include research on chemical processes and catalytic techniques to increase their efficiency or make them more environmentally friendly; as well as materials research or investigations of internal planetary structures.
The X-ray laser of the European XFEL is produced by an electron beam from a superconducting accelerator (a key component of an X-ray laser).