Colloquium: Attosecond physics at a nanoscale metal tip -- near-field optics meets strong-field physics

10/25/2012

16:00

M129, W&N-building, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Colloquium: Attosecond physics at a nanoscale metal tip -- near-field optics meets strong-field physics

Dr. Peter Hommelhoff, Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Garching, Germany

Kjeld Eikema

LaserLaB

Sciences

Seminar

Attosecond physics at a nanoscale metal tip -- near-field optics meets strong-field physics

Attosecond physics is based on the control of electrons during a single cycle of an optical or near-infrared laser field. It has enabled the the generation of coherent XUV generation, with shortest pulse durations of around 20 attoseconds (1as = 10^-18 s) observed today. The generation of high-harmonic generation, leading to attosecond light pulses, is driven by the emission of an electronic wavepacket into a (quasi-) free state, where it can gain energy in the laser field. The electron is then driven back to the parent atom, where it recombines to emit the short burst of light. These processes have so far only been observed in the gas phase. We have observed attosecond physics phenomena at a nanoscale metal tip. In particular, we have observed higher order above threshold photoemission and strong-field effects [1], the rescattering plateau [2] and prominent carrier-envelope phase effects, that lead to matter wave interference [3]. We show that the tip based system might serve as a strong-field physics laboratory for its simplicity, both experimentally as well as theoretically, and give an outlook on applications such as a light driven attosecond field effects transistor, probably the future fastest interface between light and electrical current.

 

[1] M. Schenk, M. Krüger, P. Hommelhoff, PRL 2010 [2] G. Wachter, Chr. Lemell, J. Burgdörfer, M. Krüger, M. Schenk, P. Hommelhoff, PRB 2012 [3] M. Krüger, M. Schenk, P. Hommelhoff, Nature 2011