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Attoelectronics: Steering electrons in atoms and molecules with synthesized waveforms of light

Objective

In order for electronics to meet the ever raising demands for higher speeds of operation, the dimensions of its basic elements drop continuously. This miniaturization, that will soon meet the dimensions of a single molecule or an atom, calls for new approaches in electronics that take advantage, rather than confront the dominant at these scales quantum laws.

Electronics on the scale of atoms and molecules require fields that are able to trigger and to steer electrons at speeds comparable to their intrinsic dynamics, determined by the quantum mechanical laws. For the valence electrons of atoms and molecules, this motion is clocked in tens to thousands of attoseconds, (1 as =10-18 sec) implying the potential for executing basic electronic operations in the PHz regime and beyond. This is approximately ~1000000 times faster as compared to any contemporary technology.

To meet this challenging goal, this project will utilize conceptual and technological advances of attosecond science as its primary tools. First, pulses of light, the fields of which can be sculpted and characterized with attosecond accuracy, for triggering as well as for terminating the ultrafast electron motion in an atom or a molecule. Second, attosecond pulses in the extreme ultraviolet, which can probe and frame-freeze the created electron motion, with unprecedented resolution, and determine the direction and the magnitude of the created currents.

This project will interrogate the limits of the fastest electronic motion that light fields can trigger as well as terminate, a few hundreds of attoseconds later, in an atom or a molecule. In this way it aims to explore new routes of atomic and molecular scale electronic switching at PHz frequencies.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/law

Call for proposal

ERC-2010-StG_20091028
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

Klinik Max Planck Institut für Psychiatrie
Address
Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Muenchen
Germany
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 1 262 000
Principal investigator
Eleftherios Goulielmakis (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Julia Epp (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

Klinik Max Planck Institut für Psychiatrie
Germany
EU contribution
€ 1 262 000
Address
Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Muenchen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Principal investigator
Eleftherios Goulielmakis (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Julia Epp (Ms.)