Düsterer, S.; Rehders, M.; Al-Shemmary, A.; Behrens, C.; Brenner, G.; Brovko, O.; DellAngela, M.; Drescher, M.; Faatz, B.; Feldhaus, J.; Frühling, U.; Gerasimova, N.; Gerken, N.; Gerth, C.; Golz, T.; Grebentsov, A.; Hass, E.; Honkavaara, K.; Kocharian, V.; Kurka, M.; Limberg, Th.; Mitzner, R.; Moshammer, R.; Plönjes, E.; Richter, M.; Rönsch-Schulenburg, J.; Rudenko, A.; Schlarb, H.; Schmidt, B.; Senftleben, A.; Schneidmiller, E.; Siemer, B.; Sorgenfrei, F.; Sorokin, A.A.; Stojanovic, N.; Tiedtke, K.; Treusch, R.; Vogt, M.; Wieland, M.; Wurth, W.; Wesch, S.; Yan, M.; Yurkov, M.V.; Zacharias, H.; Schreiber, S.: Development of experimental techniques for the characterization of ultrashort photon pulses of extreme ultraviolet free-electron lasers. Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams 17 (2014), p. 120702/1-19

One of the most challenging tasks for extreme ultraviolet, soft and hard x-ray free-electron laser photon diagnostics is the precise determination of the photon pulse duration, which is typically in the sub 100 fs range. Nine different methods, able to determine such ultrashort photon pulse durations, were compared experimentally at FLASH, the self-amplified spontaneous emission free-electron laser at DESY in Hamburg, in order to identify advantages and disadvantages of different methods. Radiation pulses at a wavelength of 13.5 and 24.0 nm together with the corresponding electron bunch duration were measured by indirect methods like analyzing spectral correlations, statistical fluctuations, and energy modulations of the electron bunch and also by direct methods like autocorrelation techniques, terahertz streaking, or reflectivity changes of solid state samples. In this paper, we present a comprehensive overview of the various techniques and a comparison of the individual experimental results. The information gained is of utmost importance for the future development of reliable pulse duration monitors indispensable for successful experiments with ultrashort extreme ultraviolet pulses.