Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Ultrafast Lasers and Accelerator Research

Main content start


SLAC is home to the first X-ray free-electron laser in the world (LCLS). 

X-ray free-electron lasers are the brightest sources of X-rays, with a peak brightness that surpasses synchrotron radiation sources by ten orders of magnitude. The upcoming LCLS-II upgrade will improve the repetition rate of LCLS by four orders of magnitude, creating new opportunities and challenges.

Our group is focused on the development of and science with advanced X-ray free-electron lasers. Advanced XFEL research involves the interplay of a wide range of technologies such as ultrafast lasers, superconductive accelerators and plasma-based electron sources. 

Some of our most exciting ongoing research efforts involve the generation of attosecond pulses for probing the fastest processes in matter, the development of cavity based X-ray regenerative amplifiers capable of improving the brightness of LCLS by two orders of magnitude, and the development of plasma-based X-ray sources with single cycle duration.

Additionally, SLAC operates the only ultrafast electron diffraction facility in the world, based on a high-brightness photo-injector.