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ERC

PALP Report Summary

Project ID: 339253
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Sweden

Mid-Term Report Summary - PALP (Physics of Atoms with Attosecond Light Pulses)

The field of attosecond science is now entering the second decade of its existence, with good prospects for breakthroughs in a number of areas. In this project, we take the next step in this development: from mastering the generation and control of attosecond pulses to breaking new marks, starting with the simplest systems: atoms. The aim of the project is to advance the emerging new research field “Ultrafast Atomic Physics”, where one- or two-electron wave packets are created by absorption of attosecond pulse(s) and analyzed or controlled by another short pulse. Our project can be divided into three parts:
1. Interferometric measurements using tunable attosecond pulses
We have investigated resonant photoionization in helium and argon atoms using an interferometric technique, photoelectron spectroscopy and tunable attosecond pulse trains. We measure the spectral phase and amplitude of the photoionization probability, which allow us to study the temporal dynamics of the photoionization process. Our measurement technique has evolved from spectrally-integrated to spectrally-resolved thanks to the use of a high resolution photoelectron spectrometer.
2. XUV pump/XUV probe experiments using intense attosecond pulses
Our aim is to study double ionization by absorption of two photons, at the attosecond time scale, to understand in depth the transition between nonsequential and sequential processes. An intense source of attosecond pulse trains, designed with help of scaling arguments, has been developed. Two-photon sequential double ionization of neon atoms at 40 eV has been observed. A split and delay unit has been implemented for splitting the XUV pulse into two replicas and vary their relative delay. The next step will be to perform XUV/XUV autocorrelation.
3.“Complete” attosecond experiments using high-repetition rate attosecond pulses
Our aim is here to perform advanced attosecond atomic physics experiments, with coincidence detection and angular resolution, using a high repetition rate laser system based upon optical parametric chirped pulse amplification. The OPCPA system is now operating and first high-order harmonic generation spectra have been measured. An attosecond interferometric setup as well as a “reaction microscope” are under construction. Our system has been applied to temporal studies of plasmons using photoelectron microscopy.

Reported by

LUNDS UNIVERSITET
Sweden
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