Extreme ultraviolet and soft x-ray lasers and their applications to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Colorado State University is a leader in the development of compact plasma-based soft x-ray lasers that produce bright laser beams with wavelength up to 100 shorter than visible light.  Laser amplification in a plasma column generates bright high energy pulses of soft x-ray light that enable experiments requiring coherent radiation at short wavelengths to be conducted in compact facilities.  The plasma columns that amplifies these short wavelength laser beams  are created with either a high power optical laser, or a powerful fast electrical discharge.

Colorado State University demonstrated the world’s first table-top soft x-ray laser using a fast electrical discharge to ionize and excite argon gas contained in a capillary tube. These capillary discharge lasers operating at 46.9nm are now used by many institutions word-wide in applications. Using laser-created plasmas Colorado State University has also demonstrated lasers at wavelengths as short as 6.8nm.  With the use of high repetition rate diode-pumped optical lasers developed in house Colorado State University has achieved the highest repetition rate soft x-ray lasers to date :100Hz.

Image of the Ar plasmas in the 46.9 nm Capillary Discharge Laser

Applications of Soft X-Ray Lasers

The nanometer scale wavelength of extreme ultraviolet and soft x-ray lasers coupled with the high energy per pulse has enabled application testbeds for time resolved nano-imaging and nano-holography, nano-printing. nanoscale ablation and mass spectrometry. 

Selected Publications

  • A. Rockwood, Y. Wang, S. Wang, M. Berrill, V.N. Shlyaptsev, and J. J. Rocca, “Compact gain-saturated x-ray lasers down to 6.85 nm and amplification down to 5.85 nm”. Optica. 5(2018).10.1364/optica.5.000257.
  • A. Rockwood, Y. Wang, S. Wang, V.N. Shlyaptsev, J. J. Rocca, and M. Berrill, “Compact Gain-Saturated X-ray Lasers Down to 6.85 nm”. Optics & Photonics News. 29(2018).
  • B. A. Reagan, M. Berrill, K.A. Wernsing, C. Baumgarten, M. Woolston, and J. J. Rocca, “High-average-power, 100-Hz-repetition-rate, tabletop soft-x-ray lasers at sub-15-nm wavelengths”. Physical Review A. 89053820, (2014).10.1103/PhysRevA.89.053820.
  • I. Kuznetsov, J. Filevich, F. Dong, M. Woolston, W.L. Chao, E.H. Anderson, E.R. Bernstein, D.C. Crick, J. J. Rocca, and C.S. Menoni, “Three-dimensional nanoscale molecular imaging by extreme ultraviolet laser ablation mass spectrometry”. Nature Communications. 66944, (2015).10.1038/ncomms7944.
  • J. Nejdl, I.D. Howlett, D. Carlton, E.H. Anderson, W. Chao, M.C. Marconi, J. J. Rocca, and C.S. Menoni, “Image Plane Holographic Microscopy With a Table-Top Soft X-Ray Laser”. Ieee Photonics Journal. 76900108, (2015).10.1109/jphot.2015.2389957.
  • A.K. Rossall, V. Aslanyan, G.J. Tallents, I. Kuznetsov, J. J. Rocca, and C.S. Menoni, “Ablation of Submicrometer Holes Using an Extreme-Ultraviolet Laser”. Physical Review Applied. 3064013, (2015).10.1103/PhysRevApplied.3.064013.
  • Urbanski, W. Li, J. J. Rocca, C.S. Menoni, M.C. Marconi, A. Isoyan, and A. Stein, “Defect tolerant extreme ultraviolet lithography technique”. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B. 3006f502, (2012).10.1116/1.4758758.


National Science Foundation

US Department of Energy