Attosecond pulses measure ultrafast photoionization processes

Daejeon, Korea--Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) successfully measured the exact status of the rapidly changing Helium atom using an attosecond pulse, making possible the precise measurement of many ultrafast phenomena in nature.

Professor Nam Chang Hee led the research team and PhD Kim Kyung Taek and professor Choi Nak Ryul also participated in the research. Conducted under the support of the Researcher Support Program initiated by The Ministry of Education and Science and Korea Research Foundation, the research result was published in Physical Review Letters on March 2.

Nam Chang Hee's research team used attosecond X-ray pulses and femtosecond laser pulse to photoionize helium atoms, and measure the wave speed of the produced electron to closely investigate the ultrafast photoionization process. The researchers say they have succeeded in producing the shortest 60 attosecond pulse in the world using high-harmonic waves.

Hee said, "This research precisely measured the exact status of rapidly changing Helium atoms. I am planning to research on measuring the ultrafast phenomena inside atoms and molecules and controlling the status of the atoms and molecules based on the research result."

SOURCE: KAIST; www.kaist.edu/edu.html

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