Attosecond electron transport captured in real time

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Menlo Systems has launched phase-stabilisation technologies that can generate attosecond ultraviolet pulses to free electrons and detect the released electrons on the surface with a few-cycle laser pulse.

The generation of attosecond ultraviolet pulses freeing the electrons, and the detection of the released electrons on the surface with a few-cycle laser pulse were enabled by the patented phase-stabilisation technology of Menlo Systems. The XPS800 unit for the oscillator and the APS800 unit for the amplifier are capable of stabilising the phase of ultrashort pulse, high power lasers to values of about 100mrad over several hours.

An international team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and developers of the femtosecond phase stabilisation units at Menlo Systems carried out an experiment which constituted the first attosecond measurement in condensed matter.

In the proof of principle experiment 300-attosecond extreme ultraviolet light along with an infrared pulse comprising a few well-controlled oscillation cycles of its electric field fell upon the surface of a tungsten crystal. The ultraviolet photons excited both loosely-bound electrons and those bound tightly to the atoms’ cores forming the crystal lattice.

With the rapidly oscillating, phase stabilised infrared pulses a 110 attosecond difference in the arrival time of two types of electrons on the crystal surface could be resolved.