Toward real time observation of electron dynamics in atoms and molecules

Mar 09, 2011

Another step has been taken in matter imaging. By using very short flashes of light produced by a technology developed at the national infrastructure Advanced Laser Light Source (ALLS) located at INRS University, researchers have obtained groundbreaking information on the electronic structure of atoms and molecules by observing for the first time ever electronic correlations using the method of high harmonic generation (HHG).

Made by a team of researchers from the Energy, Materials, and Telecommunications Center of INRS and the National Research Council Canada/University of Ottawa Joint Science Laboratory, this scientific breakthrough opens new opportunities for investigating electron dynamics on the timescale of the attosecond.

Researchers used a new laser source developed at ALLS by Professor François Légaré's team from the Energy, Materials, and Telecommunications Center in collaboration with colleagues from INRS University, NRC Canada, and the University of Ottawa. This laser source proves to be an ideal tool for HHG from atoms and molecules. The HHG spectra obtained through interaction of the laser source with xenon provide information on electronic correlations by highlighting the giant resonance of xenon. In addition, results obtained at ALLS show that the laser source is ideal for developing a soft X-ray beamline delivering ultrafast x-ray pulses down to the nanometer wavelength.

Built on national scientific collaboration, this study was conducted at ALLS by researchers Bruno E. Schmidt, Jean-Claude Kieffer, and François Légaré of the Energy, Materials, and Telecommunications Center of INRS and by Andrew D. Shiner, Carlos Trallero-Herrero, Hans J. Wörner, Serguei Patchkovskii, Paul B. Corkum, and David M. Villeneuve of the NRC Canada/University of Ottawa Joint Attosecond Science Laboratory. The project was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Fonds québécois de recherche sur la nature et les technologies, the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Explore further: Chemist develops X-ray vision for quality assurance

More information: Research results have just been published in the prestigious journal Nature Physics.… /full/nphys1940.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

K-State attosecond research could aid Homeland Security

May 21, 2007

Building a new laser-like X-ray source powerful and quick enough to capture fast motion in the atomic world is a big job. But Zenghu Chang, Kansas State University professor of physics, and his team of physicists and engineers ...

Scientists track electrons in molecules

Jun 13, 2010

( -- Physicists in Europe have successfully glimpsed the motion of electrons in molecules. The results are a major boon for the research world. Knowing how electrons move within molecules will ...

Physicists observe electron ejected from atom for first time

Oct 12, 2010

Physicists at the University of California, Berkeley in collaboration with researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, became the ...

Recommended for you

Chemist develops X-ray vision for quality assurance

2 hours ago

It is seldom sufficient to read the declaration of contents if you need to know precisely what substances a product contains. In fact, to do this you need to be a highly skilled chemist or to have genuine ...

The future of ultrashort laser pulses

2 hours ago

Rapid advances in techniques for the creation of ultra-short laser pulses promise to boost our knowledge of electron motions to an unprecedented level.

IHEP in China has ambitions for Higgs factory

19 hours ago

Who will lay claim to having the world's largest particle smasher?. Could China become the collider capital of the world? Questions tease answers, following a news story in Nature on Tuesday. Proposals for ...

The physics of lead guitar playing

21 hours ago

String bends, tapping, vibrato and whammy bars are all techniques that add to the distinctiveness of a lead guitarist's sound, whether it's Clapton, Hendrix, or BB King.

The birth of topological spintronics

22 hours ago

The discovery of a new material combination that could lead to a more efficient approach to computer memory and logic will be described in the journal Nature on July 24, 2014. The research, led by Penn S ...

User comments : 0