Ultrafast Excitation of an Inner-Shell Electron by Laser-Induced Electron Recollision

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Extreme ultraviolet attosecond pulses, generated by a process known as laser-induced electron recollision, are a key ingredient for attosecond metrology, providing a tool to precisely initiate and probe subfemtosecond dynamics in atoms, molecules, and solids. However, extending attosecond metrology to scrutinize the dynamics of the inner-shell electrons is a challenge, that is because of the lower efficiency in generating the required soft x-ray (ω>300eV) attosecond bursts. A way around this problem is to use the recolliding electron to directly initiate the desired inner-shell process, instead of using the currently low flux x-ray attosecond sources. Such an excitation process occurs in a subfemtosecond time scale, and may provide the necessary “pump” step in a pump-probe experiment. Here we used a few cycle infrared (λ01800nm) source and observed direct evidence for inner-shell excitations through the laser-induced electron recollision process. It is the first step toward time-resolved core-hole studies in the keV energy range with subfemtosecond time resolution.

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Last updated on 02/27/2016