Coherent imaging of an attosecond electron wave packet


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Abstract

Electrons detached from atoms or molecules by photoionization carry information about the quantum state from which they originate, as well as the continuum states into which they are released. Generally, the photoelectron momentum distribution is composed of a coherent sum of angular momentum components, each with an amplitude and phase. Here we show, by using photoionization of neon, that a train of attosecond pulses synchronized with an infrared laser field can be used to disentangle these angular momentum components. Two-color, two-photon ionization via a Stark-shifted intermediate state creates an almost pure f-wave with a magnetic quantum number of zero. Interference of the f-wave with a spherically symmetric s-wave provides a holographic reference that enables phase-resolved imaging of the f-wave.

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