Plasma photonic spatiotemporal synchronization of relativistic electron and laser beams

Scherkl, P. and Knetsch, A. and Heinemann, T. and Sutherland, A. and Habib, A. F. and Karger, O. S. and Ullmann, D. and Beaton, A. and Manahan, G. G. and Xi, Y. and Deng, A. and Litos, M. D. and O'Shea, B. D. and Green, S. Z. and Clarke, C. I. and Andonian, G. and Assmann, R. and Bruhwiler, D. L. and Smith, J. and Cary, J. R. and Hogan, M. J. and Yakimenko, V. and Rosenzweig, J. B. and Hidding, B. (2022) Plasma photonic spatiotemporal synchronization of relativistic electron and laser beams. Physical Review Accelerators and Beams, 25 (5). 052803. ISSN 1098-4402 (

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We present an ultracompact plasma-based method to measure spatial and temporal concurrence of intense electron and laser beams nonintrusively at their interaction point. The electron beam couples with a laser-generated seed plasma in dependence of spatiotemporal overlap, which triggers additional plasma production and manifests as enhanced plasma afterglow. This optical observable is exploited to measure beam concurrence with ∼4 μm spatial and ∼26.7 fs temporal accuracy, supported by auxiliary diagnostics. The afterglow interaction fingerprint is highly sensitive and enables ultraversatile femtosecond-micrometer beam metrology.