Ago Marinelli is an assistant professor of Photon Science at Particle Physics and Astrophysics at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He received his PhD in physics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2012 and moved to SLAC shortly after as a post-doctoral research associate. He was a Panofsky Fellow from 2015 to 2019 and joined the SLAC faculty in the fall of 2019.

He is currently the head of the free-electron laser physics department, as well as the co-lead of the free-electron laser R&D program at SLAC. His research is focused on the physics and applications of X-ray free-electron lasers as well as ultrafast light sources based on advanced particle accelerators.

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Photon Science Directorate
  • Assistant Professor, Particle Physics and Astrophysics

Honors & Awards

  • Panofsky Fellowship, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (2015-2019)
  • Young Investigator Free-Electron Laser Prize, International Free-Electron Laser Conference (2015)
  • Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Beam Physics Award, American Physical Society (2015)
  • Frank Sacherer Prize, European Physical Society (2014)

Professional Education

  • PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, Physics (2012)
  • Laurea Magistrale (M.S.), University of Rome, La Sapienza, Engineering Sciences (2007)
  • Laurea, University of Rome, La Sapienza, Electrical Engineering (2005)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

X-ray free-electron lasers and applications.
Advanced particle accelerators.

2020-21 Courses

Stanford Advisees

  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Jordan O'Neal, Jingyi Tang
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    Zhaoheng Guo

All Publications

  • Electronic Population Transfer via Impulsive Stimulated X-Ray Raman Scattering with Attosecond Soft-X-Ray Pulses PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS O'Neal, J. T., Champenois, E. G., Oberli, S., Obaid, R., Al-Haddad, A., Barnard, J., Berrah, N., Coffee, R., Duris, J., Galinis, G., Garratt, D., Glownia, J. M., Haxton, D., Ho, P., Li, S., Li, X., MacArthur, J., Marangos, J. P., Natan, A., Shivaram, N., Slaughter, D. S., Walter, P., Wandel, S., Young, L., Bostedt, C., Bucksbaum, P. H., Picon, A., Marinelli, A., Cryan, J. P. 2020; 125 (7)
  • Observation of Seeded Mn K beta Stimulated X-Ray Emission Using Two-Color X-Ray Free-Electron Laser Pulses PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS Kroll, T., Weninger, C., Fuller, F. D., Guetg, M. W., Benediktovitch, A., Zhang, Y., Marinelli, A., Alonso-Mori, R., Aquila, A., Liang, M., Koglin, J. E., Koralek, J., Sokaras, D., Zhu, D., Kern, J., Yano, J., Yachandra, V. K., Rohringer, N., Lutman, A., Bergmann, U. 2020; 125 (3)
  • Structural dynamics in proteins induced by and probed with X-ray free-electron laser pulses. Nature communications Nass, K., Gorel, A., Abdullah, M. M., V Martin, A., Kloos, M., Marinelli, A., Aquila, A., Barends, T. R., Decker, F., Bruce Doak, R., Foucar, L., Hartmann, E., Hilpert, M., Hunter, M. S., Jurek, Z., Koglin, J. E., Kozlov, A., Lutman, A. A., Kovacs, G. N., Roome, C. M., Shoeman, R. L., Santra, R., Quiney, H. M., Ziaja, B., Boutet, S., Schlichting, I. 2020; 11 (1): 1814


    X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) enable crystallographic structure determination beyond the limitations imposed upon synchrotron measurements by radiation damage. The need for very short XFEL pulses is relieved through gating of Bragg diffraction by loss of crystalline order as damage progresses, but not if ionization events are spatially non-uniform due to underlying elemental distributions, as in biological samples. Indeed, correlated movements of iron and sulfur ions were observed in XFEL-irradiated ferredoxin microcrystals using unusually long pulses of 80fs. Here, we report a femtosecond time-resolved X-ray pump/X-ray probe experiment on protein nanocrystals. We observe changes in the protein backbone and aromatic residues as well as disulfide bridges. Simulations show that the latter's correlated structural dynamics are much slower than expected for the predicted high atomic charge states due to significant impact of ion caging and plasma electron screening. This indicates that dense-environment effects can strongly affect local radiation damage-induced structural dynamics.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-020-15610-4

    View details for PubMedID 32286284

  • Simulation analysis and optimization of fresh-slice multistage free-electron lasers PHYSICAL REVIEW ACCELERATORS AND BEAMS Guo, T., Guetg, M. W., Ding, Y., Marinelli, A., Wu, J., Huang, Z., Lutman, A. A. 2020; 23 (3)
  • Tunable isolated attosecond X-ray pulses with gigawatt peak power from a free-electron laser NATURE PHOTONICS Duris, J., Li, S., Driver, T., Champenois, E. G., MacArthur, J. P., Lutman, A. A., Zhang, Z., Rosenberger, P., Aldrich, J. W., Coffee, R., Coslovich, G., Decker, F., Glownia, J. M., Hartmann, G., Helml, W., Kamalov, A., Knurr, J., Krzywinski, J., Lin, M., Nantel, M., Natan, A., O'Neal, J., Shivaram, N., Walter, P., Wang, A., Welch, J. J., Wolf, T. A., Xu, J. Z., Kling, M. F., Bucksbaum, P. H., Zholents, A., Huang, Z., Cryan, J. P., Marinelli, A., Marangos, J. P. 2020; 14 (1): 30-+
  • Observation of Seeded Mn Kβ Stimulated X-Ray Emission Using Two-Color X-Ray Free-Electron Laser Pulses. Physical review letters Kroll, T., Weninger, C., Fuller, F. D., Guetg, M. W., Benediktovitch, A., Zhang, Y., Marinelli, A., Alonso-Mori, R., Aquila, A., Liang, M., Koglin, J. E., Koralek, J., Sokaras, D., Zhu, D., Kern, J., Yano, J., Yachandra, V. K., Rohringer, N., Lutman, A., Bergmann, U. 2020; 125 (3): 037404


    Kβ x-ray emission spectroscopy is a powerful probe for electronic structure analysis of 3d transition metal systems and their ultrafast dynamics. Selectively enhancing specific spectral regions would increase this sensitivity and provide fundamentally new insights. Recently we reported the observation and analysis of Kα amplified spontaneous x-ray emission from Mn solutions using an x-ray free-electron laser to create the 1s core-hole population inversion [Kroll et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 133203 (2018)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.120.133203]. To apply this new approach to the chemically more sensitive but much weaker Kβ x-ray emission lines requires a mechanism to outcompete the dominant amplification of the Kα emission. Here we report the observation of seeded amplified Kβ x-ray emission from a NaMnO_{4} solution using two colors of x-ray free-electron laser pulses, one to create the 1s core-hole population inversion and the other to seed the amplified Kβ emission. Comparing the observed seeded amplified Kβ emission signal with that from conventional Kβ emission into the same solid angle, we obtain a signal enhancement of more than 10^{5}. Our findings are the first important step of enhancing and controlling the emission of selected final states of the Kβ spectrum with applications in chemical and materials science.

    View details for DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.037404

    View details for PubMedID 32745427

  • Attosecond transient absorption spooktroscopy: a ghost imaging approach to ultrafast absorption spectroscopy. Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP Driver, T., Li, S., Champenois, E. G., Duris, J., Ratner, D., Lane, T. J., Rosenberger, P., Al-Haddad, A., Averbukh, V., Barnard, T., Berrah, N., Bostedt, C., Bucksbaum, P. H., Coffee, R., DiMauro, L. F., Fang, L., Garratt, D., Gatton, A., Guo, Z., Hartmann, G., Haxton, D., Helml, W., Huang, Z., LaForge, A., Kamalov, A., Kling, M. F., Knurr, J., Lin, M., Lutman, A. A., MacArthur, J. P., Marangos, J. P., Nantel, M., Natan, A., Obaid, R., O'Neal, J. T., Shivaram, N. H., Schori, A., Walter, P., Li Wang, A., Wolf, T. J., Marinelli, A., Cryan, J. P. 2019


    The recent demonstration of isolated attosecond pulses from an X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) opens the possibility for probing ultrafast electron dynamics at X-ray wavelengths. An established experimental method for probing ultrafast dynamics is X-ray transient absorption spectroscopy, where the X-ray absorption spectrum is measured by scanning the central photon energy and recording the resultant photoproducts. The spectral bandwidth inherent to attosecond pulses is wide compared to the resonant features typically probed, which generally precludes the application of this technique in the attosecond regime. In this paper we propose and demonstrate a new technique to conduct transient absorption spectroscopy with broad bandwidth attosecond pulses with the aid of ghost imaging, recovering sub-bandwidth resolution in photoproduct-based absorption measurements.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c9cp03951a

    View details for PubMedID 31793561

  • Development of ultrafast capabilities for X-ray free-electron lasers at the linac coherent light source. Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences Coffee, R. N., Cryan, J. P., Duris, J., Helml, W., Li, S., Marinelli, A. 2019; 377 (2145): 20180386


    The ability to produce ultrashort, high-brightness X-ray pulses is revolutionizing the field of ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy. Free-electron laser (FEL) facilities are driving this revolution, but unique aspects of the FEL process make the required characterization and use of the pulses challenging. In this paper, we describe a number of developments in the generation of ultrashort X-ray FEL pulses, and the concomitant progress in the experimental capabilities necessary for their characterization and use at the Linac Coherent Light Source. This includes the development of sub-femtosecond hard and soft X-ray pulses, along with ultrafast characterization techniques for these pulses. We also describe improved techniques for optical cross-correlation as needed to address the persistent challenge of external optical laser synchronization with these ultrashort X-ray pulses. This article is part of the theme issue 'Measurement of ultrafast electronic and structural dynamics with X-rays'.

    View details for PubMedID 30929632

  • Phase-Stable Self-Modulation of an Electron Beam in a Magnetic Wiggler. Physical review letters MacArthur, J. P., Duris, J., Zhang, Z., Lutman, A., Zholents, A., Xu, X., Huang, Z., Marinelli, A. 2019; 123 (21): 214801


    Electron beams with a sinusoidal energy modulation have the potential to emit subfemtosecond x-ray pulses in a free-electron laser. An energy modulation can be generated by overlapping a powerful infrared laser with an electron beam in a magnetic wiggler. We report on a new infrared source for this modulation, coherent radiation from the electron beam itself. In this self-modulation process, the current spike on the tail of the electron beam radiates coherently at the resonant wavelength of the wiggler, producing a six-period carrier-envelope-phase (CEP)-stable infrared field with gigawatt power. This field creates a few MeV, phase-stable modulation in the electron-beam core. The modulated electron beam is immediately useful for generating subfemtosecond x-ray pulses at any machine repetition rate, and the CEP-stable infrared field may find application as an experimental pump or timing diagnostic.

    View details for DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.214801

    View details for PubMedID 31809147

  • High-Power Femtosecond Soft X Rays from Fresh-Slice Multistage Free-Electron Lasers PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS Lutman, A. A., Guetg, M. W., Maxwell, T. J., MacArthur, J. P., Ding, Y., Emma, C., Krzywinski, J., Marinelli, A., Huang, Z. 2018; 120 (26): 264801


    We demonstrate a novel multistage amplification scheme for self-amplified spontaneous-emission free electron lasers for the production of few femtosecond pulses with very high power in the soft x-ray regime. The scheme uses the fresh-slice technique to produce an x-ray pulse on the bunch tail, subsequently amplified in downstream undulator sections by fresh electrons. With three-stages amplification, x-ray pulses with an energy of hundreds of microjoules are produced in few femtoseconds. For single-spike spectra x-ray pulses the pulse power is increased more than an order of magnitude compared to other techniques in the same wavelength range.

    View details for DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.264801

    View details for Web of Science ID 000436558800005

    View details for PubMedID 30004769

  • Stimulated X-Ray Emission Spectroscopy in Transition Metal Complexes PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS Kroll, T., Weninger, C., Alonso-Mori, R., Sokaras, D., Zhu, D., Mercadier, L., Majety, V. P., Marinelli, A., Lutman, A., Guetg, M. W., Decker, F., Boutet, S., Aquila, A., Koglin, J., Koralek, J., DePonte, D. P., Kern, J., Fuller, F. D., Pastor, E., Fransson, T., Zhang, Y., Yano, J., Yachandra, V. K., Rohringer, N., Bergmann, U. 2018; 120 (13): 133203


    We report the observation and analysis of the gain curve of amplified Kα x-ray emission from solutions of Mn(II) and Mn(VII) complexes using an x-ray free electron laser to create the 1s core-hole population inversion. We find spectra at amplification levels extending over 4 orders of magnitude until saturation. We observe bandwidths below the Mn 1s core-hole lifetime broadening in the onset of the stimulated emission. In the exponential amplification regime the resolution corrected spectral width of ∼1.7  eV FWHM is constant over 3 orders of magnitude, pointing to the buildup of transform limited pulses of ∼1  fs duration. Driving the amplification into saturation leads to broadening and a shift of the line. Importantly, the chemical sensitivity of the stimulated x-ray emission to the Mn oxidation state is preserved at power densities of ∼10^{20}  W/cm^{2} for the incoming x-ray pulses. Differences in signal sensitivity and spectral information compared to conventional (spontaneous) x-ray emission spectroscopy are discussed. Our findings build a baseline for nonlinear x-ray spectroscopy for a wide range of transition metal complexes in inorganic chemistry, catalysis, and materials science.

    View details for DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.133203

    View details for Web of Science ID 000428394800008

    View details for PubMedID 29694162

  • Characterizing isolated attosecond pulses with angular streaking OPTICS EXPRESS Li, S., Guo, Z., Coffee, R. N., Hegazy, K., Huang, Z., Natan, A., Osipov, T., Ray, D., Marinelli, A., Cryan, J. P. 2018; 26 (4): 4531–47


    We present a reconstruction algorithm for isolated attosecond pulses, which exploits the phase dependent energy modulation of a photoelectron ionized in the presence of a strong laser field. The energy modulation due to a circularly polarized laser field is manifest strongly in the angle-resolved photoelectron momentum distribution, allowing for complete reconstruction of the temporal and spectral profile of an attosecond burst. We show that this type of reconstruction algorithm is robust against counting noise and suitable for single-shot experiments. This algorithm holds potential for a variety of applications for attosecond pulse sources.

    View details for DOI 10.1364/OE.26.004531

    View details for Web of Science ID 000426268500073

    View details for PubMedID 29475303

  • Fresh-slice multicolour X-ray free-electron lasers NATURE PHOTONICS Lutman, A. A., Maxwell, T. J., MacArthur, J. P., Guetg, M. W., Berrah, N., Coffee, R. N., Ding, Y., Huang, Z., Marinelli, A., Moeller, S., Zemella, J. C. 2016; 10 (11): 745-750
  • Polarization control in an X-ray free-electron laser NATURE PHOTONICS Lutman, A. A., MacArthur, J. P., Ilchen, M., Lindahl, A. O., Buck, J., Coffee, R. N., Dakovski, G. L., Dammann, L., Ding, Y., Durr, H. A., Glaser, L., Grunert, J., Hartmann, G., Hartmann, N., Higley, D., Hirsch, K., Levashov, Y. I., Marinelli, A., Maxwell, T., Mitra, A., Moeller, S., Osipov, T., Peters, F., Planas, M., Shevchuk, I., Schlotter, W. F., Scholz, F., Seltmann, J., Viefhaus, J., Walter, P., Wolf, Z. R., Huang, Z., Nuhn, H. 2016; 10 (7): 468-472
  • Transient lattice contraction in the solid-to-plasma transition. Science advances Ferguson, K. R., Bucher, M., Gorkhover, T., Boutet, S., Fukuzawa, H., Koglin, J. E., Kumagai, Y., Lutman, A., Marinelli, A., Messerschmidt, M., Nagaya, K., Turner, J., Ueda, K., Williams, G. J., Bucksbaum, P. H., Bostedt, C. 2016; 2 (1)


    In condensed matter systems, strong optical excitations can induce phonon-driven processes that alter their mechanical properties. We report on a new phenomenon where a massive electronic excitation induces a collective change in the bond character that leads to transient lattice contraction. Single large van der Waals clusters were isochorically heated to a nanoplasma state with an intense 10-fs x-ray (pump) pulse. The structural evolution of the nanoplasma was probed with a second intense x-ray (probe) pulse, showing systematic contraction stemming from electron delocalization during the solid-to-plasma transition. These findings are relevant for any material in extreme conditions ranging from the time evolution of warm or hot dense matter to ultrafast imaging with intense x-ray pulses or, more generally, any situation that involves a condensed matter-to-plasma transition.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/sciadv.1500837

    View details for PubMedID 27152323

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4846449