An apparatus and method for the generation of ultrabright multikilovolt x-rays from saturated amplification on noble gas transition arrays from hollow atom states is described. Conditions for x-ray amplification in this spectral region combine the production of cold, high-Z matter, with the direct, selective multiphoton excitation of hollow atoms from clusters using ultraviolet radiation and a nonlinear mode of confined, self-channeled propagation in plasmas. Data obtained is consistent with the presence of saturated amplification on several transition arrays of the hollow atom Xe(L) spectrum (.lambda..about.2.9 .ANG.). An estimate of the peak brightness achieved is .about.10.sup.29 .gamma..multidot.s.sup.-1.multidot.mm.sup.-2.multidot.mr.sup.-2 (0.1% Bandwidth).sup.-1, that is .about.10.sup.5 -fold higher than presently available synchotron technology.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
This invention was made in part with government support under grant DEAC04-94-AL8500 by the Department of Energy and grants DAAH04-94-G-9989 and DAAG55-97-1-0310) by the Army Research Office. The government has certain rights in the invention.