S. Kovalev, B. Green, T. Golz, S. Maehrlein, N. Stojanovic, A. S. Fisher, T. Kampfrath, and M. Gensch:
Structural Dynamics 4 (2), 024301 (2017), pp.7;
Understanding dynamics on ultrafast timescales enables unique and new insights into important processes in the materials and life sciences. In this respect, the fundamental pump-probe approach based on ultra-short photon pulses aims at the creation of stroboscopic movies. Performing such experiments at one of the many recently established accelerator-based 4th-generation light sources such as freeelectron lasers or superradiant THz sources allows an enormous widening of the accessible parameter space for the excitation and/or probing light pulses. Compared to table-top devices, critical issues of this type of experiment are fluctuations of the timing between the accelerator and external laser systems and intensity instabilities of the accelerator-based photon sources. Existing solutions have so far been only demonstrated at low repetition rates and/or achieved a limited dynamic range in comparison to table-top experiments, while the 4th generation of accelerator-based light sources is based on superconducting radio-frequency technology, which enables operation at MHz or even GHz repetition rates. In this article, we present the successful demonstration of ultra-fast accelerator-laser pump-probe experiments performed at an unprecedentedly high repetition rate in the few-hundred-kHz regime and with a currently achievable optimal time resolution of 13 fs (rms). Our scheme, based on the pulse-resolved detection of multiple beam parameters relevant for the experiment, allows us to achieve an excellent sensitivity in real-world ultra-fast experiments, as demonstrated for the example of THz-field-driven coherent spin precession.
The original publication is available by link DOI: 10.1063/1.4978042