Free-electron lasers (FELs) have been designed to operate over virtually the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from microwaves through to X-rays, and in a variety of configurations, including amplifiers and oscillators. Oscillators can operate in both the low and high gain regime and are typically used to improve the spatial and temporal coherence of the light generated. We will discuss various FEL oscillators, ranging from systems with high-quality resonators combined with low-gain undulators, to systems with a low-quality resonator combined with a high-gain undulator line. The FEL gain code MINERVA and wavefront propagation code OPC are used to model the FEL interaction within the undulator and the propagation in the remainder of the oscillator, respectively. We will not only include experimental data for the various systems for comparison when available, but also present, for selected cases, how the two codes can be used to study the effect of mirror aberrations and thermal mirror deformation on FEL performance.
- Free-electron laser
- Regenerative amplifier