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Compton spectra of atoms at high x-ray intensity
Sang-Kil Son, Otfried Geffert, and Robin Santra
J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 50, 064003 (2017) [special issue: emerging leaders]
Compton scattering is the nonresonant inelastic scattering of an x-ray photon by an electron and has been used to probe the electron momentum distribution in gas-phase and condensed-matter samples. In the low x-ray intensity regime, Compton scattering from atoms dominantly comes from bound electrons in neutral atoms, neglecting contributions from bound electrons in ions and free (ionized) electrons. In contrast, in the high x-ray intensity regime, the sample experiences severe ionization via x-ray multiphoton multiple ionization dynamics. Thus, it becomes necessary to take into account all the contributions to the Compton scattering signal when atoms are exposed to high-intensity x-ray pulses provided by x-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs). In this paper, we investigate the Compton spectra of atoms at high x-ray intensity, using an extension of the integrated x-ray atomic physics toolkit, XATOM. As the x-ray fluence increases, there is a significant contribution from ionized electrons to the Compton spectra, which gives rise to strong deviations from the Compton spectra of neutral atoms. The present study provides not only understanding of the fundamental XFEL–matter interaction but also crucial information for single-particle imaging experiments, where Compton scattering is no longer negligible.