Ultrafast and ultra-intense, short X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers (FELs) have opened up a new regime for all scientific research and for fullerenes in particular. FELs allow for the investigation of ultrafast nonlinear and multiphoton processes, as well as the exploration of the fragmentation dynamics of fullerenes. This chapter describes the FELs’ attributes that enable new FEL-based investigations. In particular, we report on the X-ray ionization and fragmentation of C60 under high- and mid-fluence femtosecond pulses, from the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. We also describe the X-ray ionization and fragmentation with low-fluence X-ray pulses of the endohedral fullerene (Ho3N@C80). We end our contribution by presenting opportunities for future time-resolved dynamics research using pump-probe techniques.
Part of the book: Fullerenes and Relative Materials