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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Feb 24;96(7):077401. Epub 2006 Feb 21.

Field emission tip as a nanometer source of free electron femtosecond pulses.

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Physics Department, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


We report a source of free electron pulses based on a field emission tip irradiated by a low-power femtosecond laser. The electron pulses are shorter than 70 fs and originate from a tip with an emission area diameter down to 2 nm. Depending on the operating regime we observe either photofield emission or optical field emission with up to 200 electrons per pulse at a repetition rate of 1 GHz. This pulsed electron emitter, triggered by a femtosecond oscillator, could serve as an efficient source for time-resolved electron interferometry, for time-resolved nanometric imaging and for synchrotrons.

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