Abstract

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Ultracold electron beams for ultrafast diffraction of macromolecules

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Ultracold electron beams for ultrafast diffraction of macromolecules


O. Jom Luiten1

1Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Eindhoven, Netherlands

At Eindhoven University of Technology we produce highly charged, highly coherent electron bunches by femtosecond photoionization of a laser-cooled and trapped atomic gas. Ultimately this should enable single-shot electron diffraction of macromolecules. The special properties of this source have been studied and explained in terms of a detailed model of the photoionization process. Using a simple graphite sample we recently generated the first diffraction patterns, which provided direct evidence that the ultracold electron source has the required coherence. We are currently preparing crystalline samples of the 2D membrane protein hydrophobin. In addition we are implementing resonant microwave cavities for further acceleration and phase space manipulation of the cold electron bunches.