Attosecond physics at the nanoscale

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Title: Attosecond physics at the nanoscale
Authors: Ciappina, MF
Pérez-Hernández, JA
Landsman, AS
Okell, W
Zherebtsov, S
Förg, B
Schötz, J
Seiffert, JL
Fennel, T
Shaaran, T
Zimmermann, T
Chacón, A
Guichard, R
Zaïr, A
Tisch, JWG
Marangos, JP
Witting, T
Braun, A
Maier, SA
Roso, L
Krüger, M
Hommelhoff, P
Kling, MF
Krausz, F
Lewenstein, M
Item Type: Working Paper
Abstract: Recently two emerging areas of research, attosecond and nanoscale physics, have started to come together. Attosecond physics deals with phenomena occurring when ultrashort laser pulses, with duration on the femto- and sub-femtosecond time scales, interact with atoms, molecules or solids. The laser-induced electron dynamics occurs natively on a timescale down to a few hundred or even tens of attoseconds, which is comparable with the optical field. On the other hand, the second branch involves the manipulation and engineering of mesoscopic systems, such as solids, metals and dielectrics, with nanometric precision. Although nano-engineering is a vast and well-established research field on its own, the merger with intense laser physics is relatively recent. In this article we present a comprehensive experimental and theoretical overview of physics that takes place when short and intense laser pulses interact with nanosystems, such as metallic and dielectric nanostructures. In particular we elucidate how the spatially inhomogeneous laser induced fields at a nanometer scale modify the laser-driven electron dynamics. Consequently, this has important impact on pivotal processes such as ATI and HHG. The deep understanding of the coupled dynamics between these spatially inhomogeneous fields and matter configures a promising way to new avenues of research and applications. Thanks to the maturity that attosecond physics has reached, together with the tremendous advance in material engineering and manipulation techniques, the age of atto-nano physics has begun, but it is in the initial stage. We present thus some of the open questions, challenges and prospects for experimental confirmation of theoretical predictions, as well as experiments aimed at characterizing the induced fields and the unique electron dynamics initiated by them with high temporal and spatial resolution.
Issue Date: 6-Jan-2017
Keywords: physics.atom-ph
Notes: Invited Review ROPP, 50 pages, 38 figures
Appears in Collections:Quantum Optics and Laser Science
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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