Soft x-ray excitonics

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Abstract

The dynamic response of excitons in solids is central to modern condensed-phase physics, material sciences, and photonic technologies. However, study and control have hitherto been limited to photon energies lower than the fundamental band gap. Here we report application of attosecond soft x-ray and attosecond optical pulses to study the dynamics of core-excitons at the L2,3 edge of Si in silicon dioxide (SiO2). This attosecond x-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (AXANES) technique enables direct probing of the excitons’ quasiparticle character, tracking of their subfemtosecond relaxation, the measurement of excitonic polarizability, and observation of dark core-excitonic states. Direct measurement and control of core-excitons in solids lay the foundation of x-ray excitonics.

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