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Journal Article

Nanofocused Plasmon-Driven Sub-10 fs Electron Point Source


Müller,  Melanie
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;


Paarmann,  Alexander
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;


Ernstorfer,  Ralph
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Müller, M., Kravtsov, V., Paarmann, A., Raschke, M. B., & Ernstorfer, R. (2016). Nanofocused Plasmon-Driven Sub-10 fs Electron Point Source. ACS Photonics, 3(4), 611-619. doi:10.1021/acsphotonics.5b00710.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-5922-2
Progress in ultrafast electron microscopy relies on the development of efficient laser-driven electron sources delivering femtosecond electron pulses to the sample. In particular, recent advances employ photoemission from metal nanotips as coherent point-like femtosecond low-energy electron sources. We report the nonlinear emission of ultrashort electron wave packets from a gold nanotip generated by nonlocal excitation and nanofocusing of surface plasmon polaritons. We verify the nanoscale localization of plasmon-induced electron emission by its electrostatic collimation characteristics. With a plasmon polariton pulse duration less than 8 fs at the apex, we identify multiphoton photoemission as the underlying emission process. The quantum efficiency of the plasmon-induced emission exceeds that of photoemission from direct apex illumination. We demonstrate the application for plasmon-triggered point-projection imaging of an individual semiconductor nanowire at 3 μm tip–sample distance. On the basis of numerical simulations we estimate an electron pulse duration at the sample less than 10 fs for tip–sample distances up to a few micrometers. Plasmon-driven nanolocalized electron emission thus enables femtosecond point-projection microscopy with unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution, femtosecond low-energy electron in-line holography, and a new route toward femtosecond scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy.