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Measuring attosecond electron dynamics in molecules

Final Report Summary - ATTOSCOPE (Measuring attosecond electron dynamics in molecules)

Within this ERC Starting Grant, we have reported the first observation and laser control of attosecond charge migration in a molecule. This is a new mechanism for the transfer of charge across molecular structures, which occurs on the attosecond to few-femtosecond time scale, and is thus much faster than nuclear motion that is usually assumed to drive charge transfer. We have further published the first results on attosecond photoionization delays in molecules and have developed the first complete theory for its interpretation. These results show that photoemission from molecules is not an instantaneous process, in particular in the presence of shape resonances that can delay photoemission by hundreds of attoseconds and more. We have further initiated time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy with high-harmonic sources by reporting the first transient-absorption measurement at the carbon K-edge. Developing these methods to the attosecond time scale has enabled us to report a new world record of the shortest laser pulse ever measured at 43 attoseconds.