Leader: Dr. Eleftherios Goulielmakis
Attoelectronics is a term coined to describe the capability of triggering, as well as driving the motion of electrons within tens to thousands of attoseconds (1 as =10-18 sec); that is, on the native time scale of electronic processes in the fundamental constituents of matter - i.e. in atoms, molecules or more complex quantum systems such as a nanoparticles or nanostructures. Tracking motion at these speeds calls for the exertion of control forces that can vary in strength and direction within commensurable time intervals and can be exerted by the electric field of light pulses (T< 2 fs) if their waveform is sculpted and controlled with attosecond precision.
Our group (Attoelectronics), funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and hosted by the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, has been established in December of 2010 and aims at advancing the control of matter by light fields on the attosecond time scale. To this end, we explore new methods for sculpting the electric field of intense waveforms of light by developing novel types of synthesizers operating over several optical octaves - from the near infrared to the deep and vacuum ultraviolet, thereby confining the generated waveform to within a fraction of an optical cycle. We combine these tools with established techniques of attosecond science, such as attosecond streaking and attosecond absorption spectroscopy, in order to trigger and explore the details of multielectron dynamics in gas-phase systems, as well as to control their temporal evolution with attosecond precision.