We show that high fluence, high-intensity x-ray pulses from the world's first hard x-ray free-electron laser produce nonlinear phenomena that differ dramatically from the linear x-ray-matter interaction processes that are encountered at synchrotron x-ray sources. We use intense x-ray pulses of sub-10-fs duration to first reveal and subsequently drive the 2p resonance in singly ionized neon. This photon-driven cycling of an inner-shell electron modifies the Auger decay process, as evidenced by line shape modification. Our work demonstrates the propensity of high-fluence, femtosecond x-ray pulses to alter the target within a single pulse, i.e., to unveil hidden resonances, by cracking open inner shells energetically inaccessible via single-photon absorption, and to consequently trigger damaging electron cascades at unexpectedly low photon energies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)