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Electron Wave Packets Steered by Light

Photonics Spectra
Oct 2002
Austrian and German researchers have demonstrated that the speed of x-ray-generated photoelectron wave packets can be controlled by a strong laser field. They produced soft x-ray bursts several hundred attoseconds long by pumping neon gas with 7-fs, 750-nm laser pulses. The burst ionized a neon gas jet, creating electron wave packets. Laser light with field strengths in excess of 108 V/cm was used to up- and downshift the packet's energy spectrum.

The effectiveness of this method relies upon the attosecond-scale duration of the x-ray burst and on its timing relative to the phase of the laser light. The research, done by a team from the Technische Universität Wien in Austria and from German institutions Universität Würzburg, Fachhochschule Koblenz in Remagen and Universität Bielefeld, was published in the Aug. 16 issue of Science.

Research & Technology

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