X-ray lasers (XRLs) are presently the brightest source in the wavelength range comprised between a few nanometers and a few tens of nanometers; they are brighter by orders of magnitude than any other source. The XRL active medium is a hot and dense plasma generally produced by a high power infrared laser, although capillary discharge has shown to be able to produce amplifying plasmas. Population inversions are due to electron-ion collisions. Nevertheless, other pumping schemes, particularly in rapidly cooling plasmas, are investigated. Concurrently high-harmonic generation gives rise to short wave-length, coherent emissions. The optical properties of these sources make them attractive for a large number of applications in various fields of research and technology. Short wavelength and coherence, coupled with high brightness, are useful for high-resolution analysis of matter by X-UV microscopy, interferometry or holography.
On the other hand, new types of interaction between X-UV radiation and matter can be realised owing to the XRL-high intensity: XRL-induced luminescence, X-UV multiphoton processes, quantum optics in the X-UV range, etc. The series of "International Conferences on X-Ray Lasers" began in Aussois (France) in 1986. It has a 2-year periodicity.
This meeting is the place where are shown and discussed progress of XRL research: collisional lasers and other inversion schemes, optical properties of XRL beams, alternative coherent X-ray sources (undulators, X-ray free electron lasers) and also applications experiments and utility of XRL for diverse purposes. It comprised about 30 invited and 30 contributed talks, and two poster sessions. Owing to the development of XRL applications, this meeting has an interdisciplinary character because present and potential XRL users of diverse fields will attend the conference among XRL researchers. The last conference in Kyoto was also an important meeting of the TMR network "An X-Ray Laser Network" (Contract n° ERBFMRXC).