- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 23544 to 23553
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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In femtosecond (fs) 4D ultrafast electron microscopy (UEM), a tradeoff is made between photoelectrons per packet and time resolution. One consequence of this can be longer-than-desirable acquisition times for low-density packets, and particularly for low repetition rates when complete photothermal dissipation is required. Thus, gaining an understanding of photoelectron trajectories in the gun region is important for identifying factors that limit collection efficiency (CE; fraction of photoelectrons that enter the illumination system). Here, we continue our work on the systematic study of photoelectron trajectories in the gun region of a Thermo Fisher/FEI Tecnai Femto UEM, focusing specifically on CE in the single-electron regime. Using General Particle Tracer, calculated field maps, and the exact architecture of the Tecnai Femto UEM, we simulated the effects of fs laser parameters and key gun elements on CE. The results indicate CE strongly depends upon the laser spot size on the source, the (unbiased) Wehnelt aperture diameter, and the incident photon energy. The CE dispersion with laser spot size is found to be strongly dependent on aperture diameter, being nearly dispersionless for the largest apertures. A gun crossover is also observed, with the beam-waist position being dependent on the aperture diameter, further illustrating that themore »
Spatial and energy resolutions of state-of-the-art transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) have surpassed 50 pm and 5 meV. However, with respect to the time domain, even the fastest detectors combined with the brightest sources may only be able to reach the microsecond timescale. Thus, conventional methods are incapable of resolving myriad fundamental ultrafast ( i.e., attosecond to picosecond) atomic-scale dynamics. The successful demonstration of femtosecond (fs) laser-based (LB) ultrafast transmission electron microscopy (UEM) nearly 20 years ago provided a means to span this nearly 10-order-of-magnitude temporal gap. While nanometer-picosecond UEM studies of dynamics are now well established, ultrafast Å-scale imaging has gone largely unrealized. Further, while instrument development has rightly been an emphasis, and while new modalities and uses of pulsed-beam TEM continue to emerge, the overall chemical and materials application space has been only modestly explored to date. In this Perspectives article, we argue that these apparent shortfalls can be attributed to a simple lack of data and detail. We speculate that present work and continued growth of the field will ultimately lead to the realization that Å-scale fs dynamics can indeed be imaged with minimally modified UEM instrumentation and with repetition rates ( f rep ) below - andmore »
While there has been success in Wakefield acceleration of electrons, there are a number of applications that could benefit from acceleration to modest energy (~MeV) by the laser field, for example, ultrafast electron diffraction and injection into higher-energy laser-driven accelerators. Here we outline our scheme for ponderomotive acceleration of electrons (and in principle, positrons) in which we control the group velocity of ultrafast pulses through pulse front tilt. Provided the intensity is above the threshold for capture of electrons, the leading part of the pulse front effectively acts like a moving mirror whose shape is controlled by the spatio-temporal topology of the intensity profile. Our analytic models of the propagation of spatially-chirped beams, simple relativistic single-particle models of the laser-electron interaction and our implementation of these beams in particle-in-cell simulations help to predict the output electron energy and direction. We are preparing experiments on the ALEPH laser system at Colorado State University in which we will use the diagnostic techniques that we have developed to align our scaled-up design of a high-energy pulse compressor that will deliver spatially chirped pulses.
Abstract Progress in ultrafast science allows for probing quantum superposition states with ultrashort laser pulses in the new regime where several linear and nonlinear ionization pathways compete. Interferences of pathways can be observed in the photoelectron angular distribution and in the past they have been analyzed for atoms and molecules in a single quantum state via anisotropy and asymmetry parameters. Those conventional parameters, however, do not provide comprehensive tools for probing superposition states in the emerging research area of bright and ultrashort light sources, such as free-electron lasers and high-order harmonic generation. We propose a new set of generalized asymmetry parameters which are sensitive to interference effects in the photoionization and the interplay of competing pathways as the laser pulse duration is shortened and the laser intensity is increased. The relevance of the parameters is demonstrated using results of state-of-the-art numerical solutions of the time-dependent Schrödinger equation for ionization of helium atom and neon atom.
Ultrafast high-brightness X-ray pulses have proven invaluable for a broad range of research. Such pulses are typically generated via synchrotron emission from relativistic electron bunches using large-scale facilities. Recently, significantly more compact X-ray sources based on laser-wakefield accelerated (LWFA) electron beams have been demonstrated. In particular, laser-driven sources, where the radiation is generated by transverse oscillations of electrons within the plasma accelerator structure (so-called betatron oscillations) can generate highly-brilliant ultrashort X-ray pulses using a comparably simple setup. Here, we experimentally demonstrate a method to markedly enhance the parameters of LWFA-driven betatron X-ray emission in a proof-of-principle experiment. We show a significant increase in the number of generated photons by specifically manipulating the amplitude of the betatron oscillations by using our novel Transverse Oscillating Bubble Enhanced Betatron Radiation scheme. We realize this through an orchestrated evolution of the temporal laser pulse shape and the accelerating plasma structure. This leads to controlled off-axis injection of electrons that perform large-amplitude collective transverse betatron oscillations, resulting in increased radiation emission. Our concept holds the promise for a method to optimize the X-ray parameters for specific applications, such as time-resolved investigations with spatial and temporal atomic resolution or advanced high-resolution imaging modalities, and themore »