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Attosecond physics phenomena at nanometric tips


Hommelhoff,  Peter
Hommelhoff Group, Associated Groups, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Kruger, M., Lemell, C., Wachter, G., Burgdoerfer, J., & Hommelhoff, P. (2018). Attosecond physics phenomena at nanometric tips. JOURNAL OF PHYSICS B-ATOMIC MOLECULAR AND OPTICAL PHYSICS, 51(17): 172001.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-F557-7
Attosecond science is based on electron dynamics driven by a strong optical electric field and has evolved beyond its original scope in gas-phase atomic and molecular physics to solid-state targets. In this review, we discuss a nanoscale attosecond physics laboratory that has enabled the first observations of strong-field-driven photoemission and recollision at a solid surface: laser-triggered metallic nanotips. In addition to the research questions of rather fundamental nature, femtosecond electron sources with outstanding beam qualities have resulted from this research, which has prompted follow-up application in the sensing of electric fields and lightwave electronics, ultrafast microscopy and diffraction, and fundamental matter-wave quantum optics. We review the theoretical and experimental concepts underlying near-field enhancement, photoemission regimes and electron acceleration mechanisms. Nanotips add new degrees of freedom to well known strong-field phenomena from atomic physics. For example, they enable the realization of a true sub-optical-cycle acceleration regime where recollision is suppressed. We also discuss the possibility of high-harmonic generation due to laser irradiation of metallic nanostructures.