Soft X-ray radiation with wavelengths below the extreme ultraviolet enables ultrafast science as well as high resolution imaging of semiconductor nanostructures. This group develops an unprecedented table-top soft X-ray source that will emit radiation with wavelengths down to 2 nanometer at multi-kilohertz repetition rate, and also employs conventional sources to realize more immediate results in ultrafast science and metrology.
The experiments are focused on spectroscopy on timescales from attoseconds to picoseconds, possibly with nanometer resolution and element specificity, for example to see what happens in a photoresist when it is hit by light or to understand the electronic processes of modern electronics in real-time. These techniques may allow metrology applications of semiconductor nanostructures. The techniques developed are general and can be extended, e.g. to study dynamics in photosynthetic systems, or to image biological samples with nanometer scale resolution.
The sources used are based on the principle of high-harmonic generation: when an infrared laser is shot at a target – a gas or a solid – the sample will emit radiation at a frequency that is a multiple of the initial laser’s fundamental frequency. The group investigates generation of soft X-ray radiation in great detail and develops all technology necessary for the sources and experimental end stations in-house.
The unique characteristics of soft X-rays from high-harmonic generation will enable applications in the semiconductor industry and they will form the basis for close collaborations with other groups at ARCNL and outside of the institute.