Success in design and construction of a compact, high-brightness accelerator system is strongly related to the production of ultra-short electron beams. Recently, the approach to generate short electron bunches or pre-bunched beams in RF guns directly illuminating a high quantum efficiency semiconductor photocathode with femtosecond laser pulses has become attractive. The measurements of the photocathode response time in this case are essential. With an approach of the interferometer-type pulse splitter deep integration into a commercial Ti:Sa laser system used for RF guns, it has become possible to generate pre-bunched electron beams and obtain continuously variable electron bunch separation. In combination with a well-known zero-phasing technique, it allows us to estimate the response time of the most commonly used Cs2Te photocathode. It was demonstrated that the peak-to-peak rms time response of Cs2Te is of the order of 370 fs, and thereby, it is possible to generate and control a THz sequence of relativistic electron bunches by a conventional S-band RF gun. This result can also be applied for investigation of other cathode materials and electron beam temporal shaping and further opens a possibility to construct wide-range tunable, table-top THz free electron laser.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)