Sub-terahertz nearfields for electron-pulse compression

Yarden Mazor, Ofer Kfir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The advent of ultrafast science with pulsed electron beams raised the need to control the temporal features of the electron pulses. One promising suggestion is the nano-selective quantum optics with multi-electrons, which scales quadratically with the number of electrons within the coherence time of the quantum system. Terahertz (THz) radiation from optical nonlinear crystals is an attractive methodology to generate the rapidly varying electric fields necessary for electron compression, with the advantage of an inherent temporal locking to laser-triggered electrons, such as in ultrafast electron microscopes. Longer (picosecond-) pulses require a sub-THz field for their compression. However, the generation of such low frequencies requires pumping with energetic optical pulses and their focusability is fundamentally limited by their mm-wavelength. This work proposes electron-pulse compression with sub-THz fields directly in the vicinity of their dipolar origin, thereby avoiding mediation through radiation. We analyze the merits of nearfields for compression of slow electrons, particularly in challenging regimes for THz radiation, such as small numerical apertures, micro-joule-level optical pump pulses, and low frequencies. This scheme can be implemented within the tight constraints of electron microscopes and reach fields of a few kV/cm below 0.1 THz at high repetition rates. Our paradigm offers a realistic approach for controlling electron pulses spatially and temporally in many experiments, opening the path of flexible multi-electron manipulation for analytic and quantum sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37980-37992
Number of pages13
JournalOptics Express
Issue number23
StatePublished - 6 Nov 2023


FundersFunder number
National Quantum Science and Technology program of the Israeli Planning and Budgeting Committee
Israel Science Foundation1021/22, 1089/22
Council for Higher Education


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