Date of this Version
Published in Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics (2014), 47: 085102 (5pp)
An electron beam is deflected when it passes over a silicon-nitride surface, if the surface is illuminated by a low-power continuous-wave diode laser. A deflection angle of up to 1.2 mrad is achieved for an electron beam of 29 μrad divergence. A mechanical beam-stop is used to demonstrate that the effect can act as an optical electron switch with a rise and fall time of 6 μs. Such a switch provides an alternative means to control electron beams, which may be useful in electron lithography and microscopy.