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Author ORCID ID is 0000000312183759
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  1. The understanding of fracture phenomena of a material at extremely high strain rates is a key issue for a wide variety of scientific research ranging from applied science and technological developments to fundamental science such as laser-matter interaction and geology. Despite its interest, its study relies on a fine multiscale description, in between the atomic scale and macroscopic processes, so far only achievable by large-scale atomic simulations. Direct ultrafast real-time monitoring of dynamic fracture (spallation) at the atomic lattice scale with picosecond time resolution was beyond the reach of experimental techniques. We show that the coupling between a high-power opticalmore » laser pump pulse and a femtosecond x-ray probe pulse generated by an x-ray free electron laser allows detection of the lattice dynamics in a tantalum foil at an ultrahigh strain rate of Embedded Image ~2 × 10 8 to 3.5 × 10 8 s -1. A maximal density drop of 8 to 10%, associated with the onset of spallation at a spall strength of ~17 GPa, was directly measured using x-ray diffraction. The experimental results of density evolution agree well with large-scale atomistic simulations of shock wave propagation and fracture of the sample. Our experimental technique opens a new pathway to the investigation of ultrahigh strain-rate phenomena in materials at the atomic scale, including high-speed crack dynamics and stress-induced solid-solid phase transitions.« less
  2. The performance of a hard X-ray split-and-delay optical (SDO) system with a wavefront division scheme was investigated at the hard X-ray free-electron laser facility SACLA. For the wavefront division, beam splitters made of edge-polished perfect Si(220) crystals were employed. We characterized the beam properties of the SDO system, and investigated its capabilities for beam manipulation and diagnostics. First, it was confirmed that shot-to-shot non-invasive diagnostics of pulse energies for both branches in the SDO system was feasible. Second, nearly ideal and identical focal profiles for both branches were obtained with a spot size of ~1.5 µm in full width atmore » half-maximum. Third, a spatial overlap of the two focused beams with a sub-µm accuracy was achieved by fine tuning of the SDO system. Finally, a reliable tunability of the delay time between two pulses was confirmed. The time interval was measured with an X-ray streak camera by changing the path length of the variable-delay branch. As a result, errors from the fitted line were evaluated to be as small as ±0.4 ps over a time range of 60 ps.« less
  3. Temporal coherence is one of the most fundamental characteristics of light, connecting to spectral information through the Fourier transform relationship between time and frequency. Interferometers with a variable path-length difference (PLD) between the two branches have widely been employed to characterize temporal coherence properties for broad spectral regimes. Hard X-ray interferometers reported previously, however, have strict limitations in their operational photon energies, due to the specific optical layouts utilized to satisfy the stringent requirement for extreme stability of the PLD at sub-ångström scales. The work presented here characterizes the temporal coherence of hard X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) pulses by capturingmore » single-shot interferograms. Since the stability requirement is drastically relieved with this approach, it was possible to build a versatile hard X-ray interferometer composed of six separate optical elements to cover a wide photon energy range from 6.5 to 11.5 keV while providing a large variable delay time of up to 47 ps at 10 keV. A high visibility of up to 0.55 was observed at a photon energy of 10 keV. The visibility measurement as a function of time delay reveals a mean coherence time of 5.9 ± 0.7 fs, which agrees with that expected from the single-shot spectral information. In conclusion, this is the first result of characterizing the temporal coherence of XFEL pulses in the hard X-ray regime and is an important milestone towards ultra-high energy resolutions at micro-electronvolt levels in time-domain X-ray spectroscopy, which will open up new opportunities for revealing dynamic properties in diverse systems on timescales from femtoseconds to nanoseconds, associated with fluctuations from ångström to nanometre spatial scales.« less

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