Attosecond imaging of molecular electronic wavepackets

Abstract : A strong laser field may tunnel ionize a molecule from several orbitals simultaneously, forming an attosecond electron–hole wavepacket. Both temporal and spatial information on this wavepacket can be obtained through the coherent soft X-ray emission resulting from the laser-driven recollision of the liberated electron with the core. By characterizing the emission from aligned N 2 molecules, we demonstrate the attosecond contributions of the two highest occupied molecular orbitals. We determine conditions where they are disentangled in the real and imaginary parts of the emission dipole moment. This allows us to carry out a tomographic reconstruction of both orbitals with angstrom spatial resolution. Their coherent superposition provides experimental images of the attosecond wavepacket created in the ionization process. Our results open the prospect of imaging ultrafast intramolecular dynamics combining attosecond and angstrom resolutions.
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Stefan Haessler, J Caillat, W Boutu, C Giovanetti-Teixeira, T Ruchon, et al.. Attosecond imaging of molecular electronic wavepackets. Nature Physics, Nature Publishing Group, 2010, 6, pp.200. 〈10.1038/NPHYS1511〉. 〈hal-01164779〉



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