Subthreshold erosion of an organic polymer induced by multiple shots of an X-ray free-electron laser

T. Burian, J. Chalupský, V. Hájková, M. Toufarová, V. Vorlíček, S. Hau-Riege, J. Krzywinski, J. D. Bozek, C. Bostedt, A. T. Graf, U. F. Jastrow, S. Kreis, R. A. London, M. Messerschmidt, S. Moeller, R. Sobierajski, K. Tiedtke, M. De Grazia, T. Auguste, B. CarréS. Guizard, H. Merdji, N. Medvedev, L. Juha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Solids irradiated by energetic photons can be eroded in two modes, depending on the radiation intensity. High average, low-peak power sources, e.g., synchrotron radiation and high-order harmonics, induce desorption of the material at a low etch rate. In contrast, high-peak-power radiation from extreme ultraviolet and X-ray lasers usually causes a massive removal of the material even by a single shot. In this contribution, an effective material erosion is reported in PMMA exposed to multiple accumulated pulses generated by the free-electron X-ray-laser Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS, tuned at a photon energy of 830 eV in this study, operated in Menlo Park at Stanford, CA, USA) at a fluence below the single-pulse ablation threshold. The effect is caused by polymer-chain scissions initiated by single photons carrying enough energy to break the C-C bounds. High efficiency of the erosion is supposed to occur due to a correlation of the single-photon effects. The subthreshold damage exhibits a nonlinear dose dependence resulting from a competition between chain scissions and cross-linking processes. The cross-linking is proven by Raman spectroscopy of the irradiated polymer. Two theoretical models of the X-ray free-electron-laser-induced erosion are suggested, which provide an excellent agreement with the experimental results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034057
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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