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Completion of the first phase of development of the european UV/VUV free-electron laser at ELETTRA

: Marsi, M.; Roux, R.; Trovo, M.; Walker, R.; Couprie, M.E.; Garzella, D.; Clarke, J.A.; Poole, M.W.; Wille, K.; Dattoli, G.; Giannessi, L.; Eriksson, M.; Werin, S.; Gatto, A.; Kaiser, N.; Günster, A.; Ristau, D.


Synchrotron radiation news 14 (2001), No.4, pp.19-24
ISSN: 0894-0886
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IOF ()
free-electron lasers

Free-electron lasers (FELs) are sources of tuneable, coherent radiation with the potential for producing high peak and average power. Of the various types of FEL, those based on storage rings have a combination of characteristics that make them attractive sources for a range of experiments in the UV/VUV: - continuous MHz repetition frequency; - synchronization with synchrotron radiation (SR) from the storage ring on a 1:1 pulse basis; - relatively high average power (in the few hundred mW range at present); - easily tuneable in wavelength; - spatially and longitudinally coherent. A storage ring FEL is also a relatively inexpensive addition to a low-to-medium-energy SR facility, using equipment that for the most part can also be utilized for a conventional SR beamline. The first phase of development of a FEL operating in the UV/VUV spectral range on the ELETTRA storage ring has recently been completed. The project received partial funding from the European Community in the framework of a three-year RTD (Research and Technological Development) contract (May 1998 - April 2001) involving six European laboratories: Sincrotrone Trieste, CEA/LURE, CLRC-Daresbury Laboratory, the University of Dortmund , ENEAFrascati and MAX-lab. The goals of the project were oriented towards future use of the FEL as a source for experimental activity. The aims were therefore to demonstrate: - lasing over a broad spectral range from 350 nm to below 200 nm; extending operation below 200 nm was considered to be of major importance in order to extend the range of scientific possibilities for the utilization of the radiation and to be competitive with respect to conventional laser sources. - operation of the laser while continuing to provide synchrotron radiation beams for other users; even though the operational energy and current are lower than that in routine operation (1 GeV rather than 2-2.4 GeV), the FEL mode is still of potential interest for a significant number of beamlines that do not require the highest photon energies and which in particular want to perform experiments that make use of the time structure of the radiation. - use of the laser to perform pilot experiments.