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Inelastic X-ray scattering (IXS) is an important tool for studies of equilibrium dynamics in condensed matter. A new spectrometer recently proposed for ultra-high-resolution IXS (UHRIX) has achieved 0.6 meV and 0.25 $nm^{-1}$ spectral and momentum-transfer resolutions, respectively. However, further improvements down to 0.1 meV and 0.02 $nm^{-1}$ are required to close the gap in energy-momentum space between high- and low-frequency probes. It is shown that this goal can be achieved by further optimizing the X-ray optics and by increasing the spectral flux of the incident X-ray pulses. UHRIX performs best at energies from 5 to 10 keV, where a combination of self-seeding and undulator tapering at the SASE-2 beamline of the European XFEL promises up to a 100-fold increase in average spectral flux compared with nominal SASE pulses at saturation, or three orders of magnitude more than what is possible with storage-ring-based radiation sources. Wave-optics calculations show that about $7 × 10^{12}$ photons $s^{-1}$ in a 90 µeV bandwidth can be achieved on the sample. This will provide unique new possibilities for dynamics studies by IXS.




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