Lasing Achieved at SACLA, Japan’s X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) facility

We are pleased to announce that the SPring-8 Angstrom Compact free electron Laser (SACLA) came on line at the RIKEN Harima Institute. SACLA is the second laser of its type in operation, following LCLS at the U.S. Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Producing the world's highest energy X-ray laser light, SACLA offers scientists a new tool for studying and understanding the arrangement of atoms moving extremely rapidly in various materials.

SACLA was built jointly by RIKEN and JASRI as one of the five Key Technologies of National Importance designated in 2006. Electron beam commissioning began in February 2011. By March 23, the beam reached the designed electron energy of 8 GeV and successfully generated 0.08 nm X-rays. This demonstrated the basic performance of the accelerator components so that we could start tuning the system for lasing. After only three months, lasing at the highest energy was achieved on June 7.

Finer tuning will continue in the months ahead. We expect to open the facility to both domestic and international public users by the end of the 2011 fiscal year.

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