During the interaction of high-intensity laser radiation and matter, high-energy electrons are produced, which, while emit bremsstrahlung, as well as excite fluorescence radiation in the X-ray spectral range, while propagating through the irradiated medium. This radiation is a prime source for the diagnosis of dense plasmas. This way, X-ray sources with but a few picoseconds duration may be realized, in order to capture processes with extremely short time scales. Laser-generated X-ray sources have a tremendous potential and are therefore being developed further continuously.

Examples of application include the measurement of electron–ion equilibration times and radiography of warm dense plasmas. Experiments regarding the optimization of the X-ray sources, as well as initial pump–probe measurements, were completed at the Darmstadt PHELIX system. For the spectral analysis of the data, a high-resolution crystal spectrometer was developed at HI-Jena.