Courtesy European XFEL

OneFive GmbH Swiss advanced laser manufacturer develops ultrafast laser for European XFEL experiments


Swiss advanced laser manufacturer ONEFIVE GmbH has developed an ultrafast laser system for experiments at the European XFEL in Hamburg. Onefive used its expertise in low-noise ultrafast laser physics to build a fully optical fibre based front-end laser system to provide the initial laser pulses for the XFEL pump-probe laser. Following successful tests, three Onefive laser systems will be installed at the European XFEL.

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Ultrafast processes, taking less than a billionth of a second to complete, require a highly-specialised tool to capture snapshots fast enough to understood what is happening. The newly built European XFEL in Hamburg has been designed exactly for this purpose. Ultrashort, high-intensity x-ray flashes produced at the European XFEL will enable studies of ultrafast processes in solids, gas-phase, chemical and bio-molecular structures, and extreme states of matter down to the atomic level. Research experiments in this regime typically operate using a pump-probe method: an optical laser is used to activate samples followed by a measurement with the x-ray flashes.

Swiss advanced laser manufacturer Onefive GmbH has combined its expertise with the Laser Group at the European XFEL to develop a unique high power femtosecond burst mode pump-probe laser system for experiments at the new research facility.

Extreme laser requirements

Onefice product  The Origami-10 XP Dual Burst Laser

The specification of the pump-probe laser is derived by combining the requirements for science experiments with the qualities of the European XFEL x-ray beam. The science experiments will typically require ultrashort laser pulse durations from 10-100 femtoseconds, pulse energies of a few μJ to mJ, as well as different wavelengths of light.The XFEL emission is quite specific, owing to the burst-mode operation of the accelerator: up to 27’000 x-ray femtosecond pulses per second are emitted in 10 Hz bursts of 600 μs duration and with up to 2700 pulses per burst.

When taken in combination, the requirement for a pulsed optical laser adapted to the x-ray emission pattern of the E-XFEL facility could not be met using off-the-shelf laser technology and a bespoke laser development was required.

Onefive laser expertise finds a solution

Onefive used its expertise in low-noise ultrafast laser physics to build a fully optical fibre based front-end laser system to provide the initial laser pulses for the pump-probe system. This new laser system, the Origami-10 XP Dual Burst, has been customized by Onefive to the unique requirements of the European XFEL pump-probe laser. Following successful tests of the complete pump-probe laser system, three Onefive Origami-XP Dual Burst systems will be installed at the European XFEL. 

The Origami-10 XP Dual Burst provides dual output ports for simultaneously providing the seed and pump line for an optical amplifier and the laser head is entirely passively air-cooled for low vibration and excellent beam pointing stability. The laser is synchronized to a high frequency timing reference signal and its flexible burst time can provide burst-to-burst variable repetition rate while keeping other parameters constant. In addition, the Onefive laser can be remotely controlled and is integrated into the European XFEL software environment.

About ONEFIVE Gmbh

Onefive 3

Onefive GmbH is a leading supplier of femtosecond, picosecond and nanosecond laser technology with industrial-grade performance and reliability. Founded in 2005, Onefive GmbH is dedicated to innovation in the emerging OEM ultrafast laser market. Onefive’s lasers rely on a unique packaging technology allowing for a combination of compactness, stability, efficiency and ease of use, and guarantee reliable 24/7 operation without degradation of performance. The areas of application include medicine, biology, environment, homeland security, sensing, material processing and R&D.


 Onefive Lang

Alexander Lang
Head of Sales and Marketing
Onefive GmbH
Regensdorf, Switzerland