Attosecond coherent control of free-electron wave functions using semi-infinite light fields

Vanacore, G.M. et al. (2018) Attosecond coherent control of free-electron wave functions using semi-infinite light fields. Nature Communications, 9, 2694. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05021-x) (PMID:30002367) (PMCID:PMC6043599)

165779.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Light-electron interaction is the seminal ingredient in free-electron lasers and dynamical investigation of matter. Pushing the coherent control of electrons by light to the attosecond timescale and below would enable unprecedented applications in quantum circuits and exploration of electronic motions and nuclear phenomena. Here we demonstrate attosecond coherent manipulation of a free-electron wave function, and show that it can be pushed down to the zeptosecond regime. We make a relativistic single-electron wavepacket interact in free-space with a semi-infinite light field generated by two light pulses reflected from a mirror and delayed by fractions of the optical cycle. The amplitude and phase of the resulting electron-state coherent oscillations are mapped in energy-momentum space via momentum-resolved ultrafast electron spectroscopy. The experimental results are in full agreement with our analytical theory, which predicts access to the zeptosecond timescale by adopting semi-infinite X-ray pulses.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The LUMES laboratory acknowledges support from the NCCR MUST. G.B. acknowledges financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) through the Grant No. 200021_159219/1. E.P. acknowledges financial support from the SNSF through an Advanced Postdoc Mobility Grant No. (P300P2_158473). F.J.G.d.A. acknowledges support from the Spanish MINECO (MAT2017-88492-R and SEV2015-0522) and Cellex Foundation.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McGrouther, Dr Damien and Lamb, Mr Raymond
Authors: Vanacore, G.M., Madan, I., Berruto, G., Wang, K., Pomarico, E., Lamb, R.J., McGrouther, D., Kaminer, I., Barwick, B., Javier García de Abajo, F., and Carbone, F.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 9: 2694
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record