A poor man’s X-FEL


Build your own single-shot, femtosecond electron diffractometer

as accessory to your sample preparation chamber -


move your mouse over the image to see interior of the setup




The first hard-X-ray Free Electron Laser, a huge and expensive facility, recently fulfilled (one of) its promise(s) by providing diffraction patterns –and thus structural information- with a time resolution in the femtosecond range. More recently still, the alternative of using electron diffraction was demonstrated, in a table-top device, with similar time resolution and less radiation damage [1]. This novel device is based on the recent insight that the Coulomb explosion of electron bunches in the 100-keV range, which until now prevented both single-shot measurements and sub-100 fs resolution, can be made fully reversible by tailoring the spatial distribution of the bunch charge [2]. The device applies down-sized, low-power versions of the RF technology commonly used in high-energy accelerators.


[1] T. van Oudheusden, O.J. Luiten et al, Phys.Rev.Letters 105 (2010) 264801

[2] O. J. Luiten, S. B. van der Geer, M. J. de Loos, F. B. Kiewiet and M. J. van der Wiel,  Phys.Rev.Letters 93 (2004) 094802

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