Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version



New Journal of Physics 16 (2014) 083008; doi:10.1088/1367-2630/16/8/083008


Copyright © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft; issued under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence.


Recent advances in pulsed electron gun technology have resulted in femtosecond electron pulses becoming available for ultrafast electron diffraction experiments. For experiments investigating chemical dynamics in the gas phase, the resolution is still limited to picosecond time scales due to the velocity mismatch between laser and electron pulses. Tilted laser pulses can be used for velocity matching, but thus far this has not been demonstrated over an extended target in a diffraction setting. We demonstrate an optical configuration to deliver high-intensity laser pulses with a tilted pulse front for velocity matching over the typical length of a gas jet. A laser pulse is diffracted from a grating to introduce angular dispersion, and the grating surface is imaged on the target using large demagnification. The laser pulse duration and tilt angle were measured at and near the image plane using two different techniques: second harmonic cross correlation and an interferometric method. We found that a temporal resolution on the order of 100 fs can be achieved over a range of approximately 1mm around the image plane.