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Quantum Dynamics in Tailored Intense Fields (SPP 1840)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
In this Priority Programme, the dynamics of strongly perturbed quantum systems is to be investigated in the nonrelativistic regime with tailored radiation fields on the femtosecond and attosecond time scale. By combining experimental and theoretical expertise and bringing together the fields of optics, quantum dynamics and chemistry, the programme aims to achieve milestones such as the control and observation of subfemtosecond charge migration or the laser-based recognition and manipulation of chiral molecules. The main focus lies on gas-phase systems, in order to watch microscopic phenomena with minimal disturbance by their environment.

On the atomic physics side of this programme, fundamental issues are the interplay between multielectron interactions and light-induced dynamics as well as the boundary between classical and quantum physics. The attosecond temporal structure of laser-induced ionization may be analysed with a range of approaches going beyond existing attoclock and two-colour high-harmonic spectroscopy methods and extending these methods to multielectron dynamics. The electron spin in the strong-field regime, in particular the generation of spin-polarized electrons from laser ionization is a possible subject of study.

The physics of molecular systems in intense few-cycle, multicolour and polarization controlled light pulses is a mostly unexplored territory. One aim is to investigate the launch and observation of ultrafast charge migration - an electronic effect occurring faster than nuclear motion. Electron wave-packet dynamics can be controlled with tailored light, for example by exploiting the wavelength dependence of light-molecule interactions to suppress or enhance multiorbital dynamics or to reveal the low-energy structure in photoelectron spectra from mid-infrared irradiation. Laser-induced orientation of molecules may be established and used for applications.

In the realm of chemistry, tailored fields hold new opportunities for controlling chemical dynamics by nonresonant and resonant dynamic Stark shifts, tracing electron dynamics with attosecond precision and for the recognition of the absolute configuration of chiral molecules. Via high-harmonic spectroscopy of molecules with suitably chosen fields, it may be possible to achieve ultrafast imaging of structure and dynamics on the sub-atomic length scale.
The application of strong tailored fields to solid-state systems and clusters in a quantum mechanical, i.e. non-plasma, regime holds many open questions. Strong-field processes in unconventional media such as exploding droplets doped with nanoparticles and in laser-induced filaments imply new perspectives such as alternative attosecond pulse sources and high-harmonic generation in inhomogeneous near fields.
Proposals for this Priority Programme should take the control of microscopic processes with light to a new level, both in terms of temporal and spatial resolution as well as regarding the investigated systems.

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Kennedyallee 40
53175 Bonn
For Questions contact the coordinator:
Prof. Dr. Manfred Lein,
phone +495117623291,
E-Mail: lein@itp.uni-hannover.de

Further Information: