Ultrafast generation and control of an electron vortex beam via chiral plasmonic near fields

Vanacore, G.M. et al. (2019) Ultrafast generation and control of an electron vortex beam via chiral plasmonic near fields. Nature Materials, 18, pp. 573-579. (doi: 10.1038/s41563-019-0336-1) (PMID:31061485)

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Vortex-carrying matter waves, such as chiral electron beams, are of significant interest in both applied and fundamental science. Continuous-wave electron vortex beams are commonly prepared via passive phase masks imprinting a transverse phase modulation on the electron's wavefunction. Here, we show that femtosecond chiral plasmonic near fields enable the generation and dynamic control on the ultrafast timescale of an electron vortex beam. The vortex structure of the resulting electron wavepacket is probed in both real and reciprocal space using ultrafast transmission electron microscopy. This method offers a high degree of scalability to small length scales and a highly efficient manipulation of the electron vorticity with attosecond precision. Besides the direct implications in the investigation of nanoscale ultrafast processes in which chirality plays a major role, we further discuss the perspectives of using this technique to shape the wavefunction of charged composite particles, such as protons, and how it can be used to probe their internal structure.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The LUMES laboratory acknowledges support from the NCCR MUST. G.M.V. is partially supported by the EPFL-Fellows-MSCA international fellowship (grant agreement no. 665667). R.J.L. and D.M. acknowledge funding support of R.J.L. by an EPSRC DTG studentship. I.K. is supported by the Azrieli Foundation and partially supported by the FP7-Marie Curie IOF under grant no. 328853-MC-BSiCS. V.G. is supported by the European project Q-SORT, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 766970. H.L. and E.K. acknowledge support from the Canada Research Chair (CRC) and Early Researcher Award (ERA). F.J.G.d.A. acknowledges support from the ERC (advanced grant 789104-eNANO), the Spanish MINECO (MAT2017-88492-R and SEV2015-0522) and the Catalan CERCA and Fundació Privada Cellex. B.B. acknowledges support with this material by the NSF under grant no. 1759847.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McGrouther, Dr Damien and Lamb, Mr Raymond
Authors: Vanacore, G.M., Berruto, G., Madan, I., Pomarico, E., Biagioni, P., Lamb, R.J., McGrouther, D., Reinhardt, O., Kaminer, I., Barwick, B., Larocque, H., Grillo, V., Karimi, E., García de Abajo, F.J., and Carbone, F.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Nature Materials
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):1476-4660
Published Online:06 May 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Authors, under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2019
First Published:First published in Nature Materials 18:573-579
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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