Temporal lenses for attosecond and femtosecond electron pulses
Here, we describe the "temporal lens" concept that can be used for the focus and magnification of ultrashort electron packets in the time domain. The temporal lenses are created by appropriately synthesizing optical pulses that interact with electrons through the ponderomotive force. With such an arrangement, a temporal lens equation with a form identical to that of conventional light optics is derived. The analog of ray diagrams, but for electrons, are constructed to help the visualization of the process of compressing electron packets. It is shown that such temporal lenses not only compensate for electron pulse broadening due to velocity dispersion but also allow compression of the packets to durations much shorter than their initial widths. With these capabilities, ultrafast electron diffraction and microscopy can be extended to new domains,and, just as importantly, electron pulses can be delivered directly on an ultrafast techniques target specimen.
Additional InformationCopyright ©2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. Contributed by Ahmed H. Zewail, May 6, 2009 (received for review April 17, 2009). Published online before print June 16, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0904912106 We thank Sang Tae Park for helpful discussions; Peter Baum for careful reading of the manuscript; and the 3 referees, Profs. F. Krausz, P. Corkum, and A. Bandrauk, for helpful comments. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research in the Gordon and Betty Moore Center for Physical Biology at Caltech. Author contributions: S.A.H., C.U., B.B., H.B., and A.H.Z. designed research, performed research, contributed new reagents/analytic tools, analyzed data, and wrote the paper. The authors declare no conflict of interest. This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/0904912106/DCSupplemental.
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