Electro-optic time profile monitors for femtosecond electron bunches at the soft x-ray free-electron laser FLASH
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Precise measurements of the temporal proﬁle of ultrashort electron bunches are of high interest for the optimization and operation of ultraviolet and x-ray free-electron lasers. The electro-optic (EO) technique has been applied for a single-shot direct visualization of the time proﬁle of individual electron bunches at FLASH. This paper presents a thorough description of the experimental setup and the results. An absolute calibration of the EO technique has been performed utilizing simultaneous measurements with a transverse-deﬂecting radio-frequency structure that transforms the longitudinal bunch charge distribution into a transverse streak. EO signals as short as 60 fs (rms) have been observed using a gallium-phosphide (GaP) crystal, which is a new record in the EO detection of single electron bunches and close to the physical limit imposed by the EO material properties. The data are in quantitative agreement with a numerical simulation of the EO detection process.