Benchmarking of electro-optic monitors for femtosecond electron bunches
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The longitudinal profiles of ultrashort relativistic electron bunches at the soft x-ray free-electron laser FLASH have been investigated using two single-shot detection schemes: an electro-optic (EO) detector measuring the Coulomb field of the bunch and a radio-frequency structure transforming the charge distribution into a transverse streak. A comparison permits an absolute calibration of the EO technique. EO signals as short as 60 fs (rms) have been observed, which is a new record in the EO detection of single electron bunches and close to the limit given by the EO material properties.