Subpicosecond Ultracold Electron Source

We present the first observation of subpicosecond electron bunches from an ultracold electron source. This source is based on near-threshold, two-step, femtosecond photoionization of laser-cooled rubidium gas in a grating magneto-optical trap. Bunch lengths as short as 735±7fs (rms) have been measured in the self-compression point of the source by means of ponderomotive scattering of the electrons by a 25 fs, 800 nm laser pulse. The observed temporal structure of the electron bunch depends on the central wavelength of the ionization laser pulse, in agreement with detailed simulations of the atomic photoionization process. This shows that the bunch length limit imposed by the atomic photoionization process has been reached.

  • Received 16 September 2022
  • Revised 1 March 2023
  • Accepted 29 March 2023


Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI.

Published by the American Physical Society

Accelerators & BeamsAtomic, Molecular & Optical

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