We report a systematic study of double pulse pumping of the Ni-like Sm x-ray laser at 73 Angstrom, currently the shortest wavelength saturated x-ray laser. It is found that the Sm x-ray laser output can change by orders of magnitude when the intensity ratio of the pumping pulses and their relative delay are varied. Optimum pumping conditions are found and interpreted in terms of a simple model. (C) 1999 American Institute of Physics. [S0021-8979(99)07102-9]
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