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Aided by short laser flashes, researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute have managed to temporarily change a material's properties to such a degree that they have – to a certain extent –created a new material. To monitor these changes, they used very short flashes of x-rays generated by the x-ray laser, LCLS, in California. With these x-ray flashes they scanned the material and gained insight that could help in the development of materials for more high-performance electronic devices. Experiments like the ones with LCLS will be possible at PSI with the entry into service of the x-ray laser SwissFEL at the end of 2016. For researchers at PSI, the studies in the USA are an opportunity to gain experience that can then be used in setting up the experimental workstations at SwissFEL.

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