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Type: Journal article
Title: Cold electron sources using laser-cooled atoms
Author: McCulloch, A.
Sparkes, B.
Scholten, R.
Citation: Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, 2016; 49(16):164004-1-164004-17
Publisher: IOP Publishing
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 0953-4075
Statement of
Andrew J McCulloch, Ben M Sparkes and Robert E Scholten
Abstract: Since the first observation of electron diffraction in 1927, electrons have been used to probe the structure of matter. High-brightness sources of thermal electrons have recently emerged that are capable of simultaneously providing high spatial resolving power along with ultrafast temporal resolution, however they are yet to demonstrate the holy grail of single-shot diffraction of non-crystalline objects. The development of the cold atom electron source, based around the ionisation of laser cooled atoms, has the potential to contribute to this goal. Electron generation from laser cooled atoms is in its infancy, but in just ten years has moved from a proposal to a source capable of performing single-shot diffraction imaging of crystalline structures. The high brightness, high transverse coherence length, and small energy spread of cold electron sources are also potentially advantageous for applications ranging from seeding of x-ray free-electron lasers and synchrotrons to coherent diffractive imaging and microscopy. In this review we discuss the context which motivates the development of these sources, the operating principles of the source, and recent experimental results. The achievements demonstrated thus far combined with theoretical proposals to alleviate current bottlenecks in development promise a bright future for these sources.
Keywords: Cold electrons; laser cooling; ultrafast diffraction; coherent diffrative imaging
Description: Published 29 July 2016
Rights: © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd
DOI: 10.1088/0953-4075/49/16/164004
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