An all-x-ray pump and probe capability is highly desired for the free-electron laser community. A possible implementation involves the use of an x-ray mirror downstream of the sample to backreflect the pump beam onto itself. We expose silicon single crystals, a candidate for this hard-x-ray mirror, to the hard-x-ray beam of the Linac Coherent Light Source (SLAC National Acceleration Laboratory) to assess its suitability. We find that silicon is an appropriate mirror material, but its reflectivity at high x-ray fluences is somewhat unpredictable. We attribute this behavior to x-ray-induced local damage in the mirror, which we have characterized post mortem via microdiffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. We demonstrate a strategy to reduce local damage by using a structured silicon-based mirror. Preliminary results suggest that the latter yields reproducible Bragg reflectivity at high x-ray fluences, promising a path forward for silicon single crystals as x-ray backreflectors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)