Van der Waals-Zeeman Colloquium

Tuesday, 27 Mar 2007, 16:00h

The other half of the story: attosecond time-resolved electron dynamics

Prof. dr. Marc Vrakking
AMOLF, Amsterdam

Femtosecond time-resolved experiments allow the real-time observation of atomic and molecular processes. Often however, these experiments tell only half the story: they show the motion of atoms moving under the influence of potential energy curves that result from a time-average over the motion of all electrons in the system. Real-time observation of these electrons requires recently developed attosecond laser techniques.

In my talk I will present results from recent experiments where isolated attosecond pulses and attosecond pulse trains are used to gain insight into electronic processes that occur in atoms and molecules on these ultrafast timescales. I will discuss experiments on the dissociative ionization of molecular hydrogen (Science 312, 246 (2006)), where we have been able to control electronic motion on attosecond timescales, as well experiments where attosecond pulses are used to develop a new type of interferometry, that may allow the reconstruction of molecular orbitals (Nature Physics 2, 353 (2006)). Finally I will discuss results from very recent experiments where the ionization of Ne and Xe atoms has been investigated with attosecond time-resolution (Nature, in press).