Heider, R.; Wagner, M. S.; Hartmann, N.; Ilchen, M.; Buck, J.; Hartmann, G.; Shirvanyan, V; Lindahl, A. O.; Gruenert, J.; Krzywinski, J.; Liu, J.; Ossiander, M.; Lutman, A. A.; Maxwell, T.; Miahnahri, A. A.; Moeller, S. P.; Planas, M.; Robinson, J.; Viefhaus, J.; Feurer, T.; Kienberger, R.; Coffee, R. N.; Helml, W.: Megahertz-compatible angular streaking with few-femtosecond resolution at x-ray free-electron lasers. Physical Review A 100 (2019), p. 053420/1-17
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Highly brilliant, coherent, femtosecond x-ray pulses delivered by free-electron lasers (FELs) constitute one of the pillars of modern ultrafast science. Next generation FEL facilities provide up to megahertz repetition rates and pulse durations down to the attosecond regime utilizing self-amplification of spontaneous emission. However, the stochastic nature of this generation mechanism demands single-shot pulse characterization to perform meaningful experiments. Here we demonstrate a fast yet robust online analysis technique capable of megahertz-rate mapping of the temporal intensity structure and arrival time of x-ray FEL pulses with few-femtosecond resolution. We performed angular streaking measurements of both neon photo- and Auger electrons and show their applicability for a direct time-domain feedback system during ongoing experiments. The fidelity of the real-time pulse characterization algorithm is corroborated by resolving isolated x-ray pulses and double pulse trains with few-femtosecond substructure, thus paving the way for x-ray-pump-x-ray-probe FEL science at repetition rates compatible with the demands of LCLS-II and European XFEL.