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Journal Article

Terahertz control of nanotip photoemission


Ropers,  Claus       
Department of Ultrafast Dynamics, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Wimmer, L., Herink, G., Solli, D., Yalunin, S., Echternkamp, K., & Ropers, C. (2014). Terahertz control of nanotip photoemission. Nature Physics, 10(6), 432-436. doi:10.1038/nphys2974.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-5D50-3
The active control of matter by strong electromagnetic fields is of growing importance, with applications all across the optical spectrum from the extreme-ultraviolet to the far-infrared. In recent years, phase-stable terahertz fields have shown tremendous potential for observing and manipulating elementary excitations in solids. In the gas phase, on the other hand, driving free charges with terahertz transients provides insight into ultrafast ionization dynamics. Developing such approaches for locally enhanced terahertz fields in nanostructures will create new means to govern electron currents on the nanoscale. Here, we use single-cycle terahertz transients to demonstrate extensive control over nanotip photoelectron emission. The terahertz near-field is shown to either enhance or suppress photocurrents, with the tip acting as an ultrafast rectifying diode6. We record phase-resolved sub-cycle dynamics and find spectral compression and expansion arising from electron propagation within the terahertz near-field. These interactions produce rich spectro-temporal features and offer unprecedented control over ultrashort free electron pulses for imaging and diffraction.