A quantitative method for in situ pump-beam metrology in 4D ultrafast electron microscopy

Jialiang Chen, David J. Flannigan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Scopus citations


    We report a method for measuring spot size and focusing conditions of the femtosecond (fs) excitation laser in situ at the specimen location in 4D ultrafast electron microscopy (UEM). The method makes use of threshold laser ablation behaviors of thin amorphous carbon membranes. For Gaussian beam profiles and for ablation threshold fluence values, we analytically derive expressions describing the relationship between ablated hole size and the actual laser spot size. Using these expressions, we developed experimental procedures for characterizing the shape and spot size of the pump beam at the specimen. We demonstrate the viability of the approach for incident excitation wavelengths of 343 nm and 515 nm, thus illustrating the applicability of the method to a range of optical wavelengths without modification. Further, we show that by measuring ablated hole size as a function of focusing condition, a full metrological characterization of the Gaussian beam propagation properties can be performed. Finally, we find good agreement for spot sizes determined with this method and with those determined by extrapolation from measurements taken outside the microscope column. Overall, this method is a simple, cost-effective means for accurate and precise determination of key pump-beam parameters in situ at the specimen location in UEM experiments.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number113485
    StatePublished - Apr 2022

    Bibliographical note

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    • In-situ TEM
    • Pump-probe
    • Stroboscopic
    • Ultrafast electron diffraction


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