Abstract

We demonstrate an experimental technique for both transverse and longitudinal characterization of bunched femtosecond free electron beams. The operation principle is based on monitoring of the current of electrons that obtained an energy gain during the interaction with the synchronized optical near-field wave excited by femtosecond laser pulses. The synchronous accelerating/decelerating fields confined to the surface of a silicon nanostructure are characterized using a highly focused sub-relativistic electron beam. Here the transverse spatial resolution of 450 nm and femtosecond temporal resolution of 480 fs (sub-optical-cycle temporal regime is briefly discussed) achievable by this technique are demonstrated.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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