This Letter reports on the optimization of a tabletop nickel-like molybdenum transient collisionally excited soft x-ray laser (SXRL) at 18.9 nm performed by a double-pulse single-beam grazing incidence pumping (DGRIP). This scheme allows for the first time, to our knowledge, the full control of the pump laser parameters including the pre-pulse duration optimally generating the SXRL amplifier under a grazing incidence. The single-beam geometry of the collinear double-pulse propagation guarantees the ideal overlap of the pre-pulse and main pulse from shot to shot resulting in a more efficient and highly stable SXRL output. SXRL energies up to are obtained with a total pump energy less than 1 J for several hours at a 10 Hz repetition rate without realignment under once optimized double pumping pulse parameters including energy ratio, time delay, pre-pulse and main pulse durations, and line focus width.
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