Abstract

An all-optical method to determine the duration of ultrashort electron pulses is presented. This technique makes use of the laser pulse ponderomotive potential to effectively sample the temporal envelope of the electron pulse by sequentially scattering different sections of the pulse out of the main beam. Using laser pulse parameters that are easily accessible with modern tabletop chirped-pulse amplification laser sources, it is possible to measure the instantaneous duration of electron pulses shorter than 100 fs in the energy range that is most useful for electron diffraction studies, 10–300 keV.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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