Research ArticlePHYSICS

Holographic imaging of electromagnetic fields via electron-light quantum interference

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Science Advances  03 May 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 5, eaav8358
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav8358


Holography relies on the interference between a known reference and a signal of interest to reconstruct both the amplitude and the phase of that signal. With electrons, the extension of holography to the ultrafast time domain remains a challenge, although it would yield the highest possible combined spatiotemporal resolution. Here, we show that holograms of local electromagnetic fields can be obtained with combined attosecond/nanometer resolution in an ultrafast transmission electron microscope (UEM). Unlike conventional holography, where signal and reference are spatially separated and then recombined to interfere, our method relies on electromagnetic fields to split an electron wave function in a quantum coherent superposition of different energy states. In the image plane, spatial modulation of the electron energy distribution reflects the phase relation between reference and signal fields. Beyond imaging applications, this approach allows implementing quantum measurements in parallel, providing an efficient and versatile tool for electron quantum optics.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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