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Electro-optic time profile monitors for femtosecond electron bunches at the soft x-ray free-electron laser FLASH

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  • B. Steffen
  • V. Arsov
  • G. Berden
  • W.A. Gillespie
  • S.P. Jamison
  • A.M. MacLeod
  • A.F.G. Van Der Meer
  • P.J. Phillips
  • H. Schlarb
  • B. Schmidt
  • P. Schmüser
Article number032802
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>17/03/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical Review Special Topics: Accelerators and Beams
Issue number3
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Precise measurements of the temporal profile of ultrashort electron bunches are of high interest for the optimization and operation of ultraviolet and x-ray free-electron lasers. The electro-optic (EO) technique has been applied for a single-shot direct visualization of the time profile of individual electron bunches at FLASH. This paper presents a thorough description of the experimental setup and the results. An absolute calibration of the EO technique has been performed utilizing simultaneous measurements with a transverse-deflecting radio-frequency structure that transforms the longitudinal bunch charge distribution into a transverse streak. EO signals as short as 60 fs (rms) have been observed using a gallium-phosphide (GaP) crystal, which is a new record in the EO detection of single electron bunches and close to the physical limit imposed by the EO material properties. The data are in quantitative agreement with a numerical simulation of the EO detection process.