Accurate prediction of X-ray pulse properties from a free-electron laser using machine learning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Free-electron lasers providing ultra-short high-brightness pulses of X-ray radiation have great potential for a wide impact on science, and are a critical element for unravelling the structural dynamics of matter. To fully harness this potential, we must accurately know the X-ray properties: intensity, spectrum and temporal profile. Owing to the inherent fluctuations in free-electron lasers, this mandates a full characterization of the properties for each and every pulse. While diagnostics of these properties exist, they are often invasive and many cannot operate at a high-repetition rate. Here, we present a technique for circumventing this limitation. Employing a machine learning strategy, we can accurately predict X-ray properties for every shot using only parameters that are easily recorded at high-repetition rate, by training a model on a small set of fully diagnosed pulses. This opens the door to fully realizing the promise of next-generation high-repetition rate X-ray lasers.


  • A. Sanchez-Gonzalez
  • P. Micaelli
  • C. Olivier
  • T. R. Barillot
  • M. Ilchen
  • A. Lutman
  • A. Marinelli
  • T Maxwell
  • A. Achner
  • N. Berrah
  • C. Bostedt
  • J. D. Bozek
  • J. Buck
  • P. H. Bucksbaum
  • S. Carron Montero
  • B. Cooper
  • J. P. Cryan
  • M Dong
  • R Feifel
  • L. J. Frasinski
  • H. Fukuzawa
  • A. Galler
  • G. Hartmann
  • Nils Hartmann
  • W. Helml
  • A. S. Johnson
  • A. Knie
  • J. Liu
  • K. Motomura
  • M. Mucke
  • Caroline O'Grady
  • J E Rubensson
  • E. R. Simpson
  • R J Squibb
  • K. Ueda
  • M. Vacher
  • D. J. Walke
  • V. Zhaunerchyk
  • R. N. Coffee
  • J. P Marangos
External organisations
  • Imperial College London
  • Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC)
  • Uppsala University
  • University of Connecticut
  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • German Electron Synchrotron (DESY)
  • Stanford University
  • University of Gothenburg
  • Tohoku University
  • University of Kassel
  • Technical University of Munich
  • European XFEL GmbH
  • Synchrotron SOLEIL
  • California Lutheran University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Original languageEnglish
Article number15461
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 5
Publication categoryResearch