Dr. Eleftherios Goulielmakis
Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics
Tracking Electronic Processes with Sub-100-Attosecond Resolution
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Electronic processes in atoms and molecules occur typically on a time scale spanning the range of a few tens of attoseconds (1 as =10-18 s) to a few tens of femtoseconds (1 fs = 10-15 s).
Important developments towards the realization of experimental techniques capable to access electron dynamics in microscopic systems include the generation of isolated soft-x-ray, attosecond pulses (1) as well as the direct characterization and control of light fields (2). These technologies have opened up new avenues for improving the temporal resolution with which we can observe the microcosm down to ~100-attoseconds, and they have offered unprecedented accuracy in steering electron motion at the frequency of light (3).
I will present recent developments that comprise a substantial extension of the tools of attosecond metrology. These include powerful, sub-100-attosecond soft-x-ray pulses (4) generated with waveform-controlled laser fields, comprising merely 1.5 oscillations, which are used to drive emission from atoms. These pulses, combined in precise synchrony with advanced excitation sources in the deep ultraviolet (5), hold promise for triggering and tracking electronic process in atoms, molecules and solids with a resolution that may approach the atomic unit of time ( 1 a.u. ~24 attoseconds).
(2) E. Goulielmakis, M. Uiberacker, R. Kienberger et al., ‘Direct measurement of light waves’ Science 305 (2004) 1267
(4) E. Goulielmakis et al., ‘Sub-100- attosecond soft-x-ray pulses’ to be submitted
(5) U. Graf et al., ‘Powerful 3.7 fs pulses in the deep ultraviolet’ to be submitted