A method for generating femtosecond-duration x-ray pulses with a free-electron laser is presented. This method uses an energy-chirped electron beam propagating through an undulator to produce a frequency-chirped x-ray pulse by self-amplified spontaneous emission. A short temporal pulse is created by use of a monochromator to select a narrow radiation bandwidth. A second undulator is used to amplify the short-duration radiation. The radiation characteristics produced by a chirped-beam two-stage free-electron laser are calculated, and the performance of the chirped-beam two-stage option for the Linac Coherent Light Source is considered.
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