X-Ray Sources

One of the main goals within the ELI scientific community is to produce ultra-short X-ray beamlines, both coherent and incoherent ones, to pave the way toward imaging nature with atomic resolution in space as well as time using devices that are suitable for university labs. Applications range from structure analysis in solid-state, atomic physics and molecular chemistry via imaging applications in medicine and the life sciences through to the discovery of the basic building blocks of life.

The X-ray laser-based sources developed at the ELI-Beamlines facility have the capability, unlike large-scale facilities such as third-generation synchrotrons or X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs), to offer a much broader accessibility because only a few large-scale facilities exist throughout the world. In addition to reducing size and costs, these X-ray sources provide intrinsic synchronization between the optical driver laser and the X-ray pulses that are generated, as well as the full spectrum of different X-ray sources that each deliver specific properties.

Four paths have been developed within the ELI research area for transforming optical laser pulses into brilliant bursts of X-rays:

  • High-order harmonic generation
  • Incoherent plasma X-ray sources
  • Betatron/Compton radiation
  • Laser-driven X-ray free-electron lasers.

For each of these research areas, dedicated beamlines will be built to provide a unique combination of X-ray sources to the user community. This is the mission of the Research Activity 2 (RA2). The RA2 application has a well-defined balance between fundamental science and applications in different fields of science and technology. Emphasis will be placed on providing an international user facility. Therefore, most of the areas have been conceived so that potential users from different fields will be attracted by the advanced laser parameters concerning pulse widths, repetition rates, broad wavelength ranges and intensities. Another important feature will be the combination of perfectly synchronized sources of short pulse coherent optical radiation, UV radiation, XUV radiation and X-ray radiation (coherent and incoherent). The available wavelength range of short pulses will be extended in the future to the gamma range well above 100 keV.

Group leader: Jaroslav Nejdl


Dong-Du Mai (PXS)

Uddhab Chaulagain (Betatron)

Ondřej Hort (HHG)

Kavya Hemantha Rao (Betatron)


Martin Albrecht

Jan Vábek

Ondřej Finke

Matej Jurkovič

Marcel Lamač

Marek Raclavský

Yelizaveta Pulnova