Synchronization of x-ray pulses to the pump laser in an ultrafast x-ray
Accurate timing of ultrafast x-ray probe pulses emitted from a synchrotron radiation source with respect to a pump laser exciting processes in the sample under study is critical for the investigation of structural dynamics in the femtosecond regime. We describe a scheme for synchronizing femtosecond x-ray pulses relative to a pump laser. X-ray pulses of <100 fs duration are generated from a proposed source based on a recirculating superconducting linac [1,2,3]. Short x-ray pulses are obtained by a process of electron pulse compression, followed by transverse temporal correlation of the electrons, and ultimately x-ray pulse compression. Timing of the arrival of the x-ray pulse with respect to the pump laser is found to be dominated by the operation of the deflecting cavities which provide the transverse temporal correlation of the electrons. The deflecting cavities are driven from a highly stable RF signal derived from a modelocked laser oscillator which is also the origin of the pump laser pulses.