Letter abstract


Nature Physics 5, 412 - 416 (2009)
Published online: 26 April 2009 | doi:10.1038/nphys1251

Subject Categories: Optical physics | Atomic and molecular physics

Atomic wavefunctions probed through strong-field light–matter interaction

D. Shafir1, Y. Mairesse2,3, D. M. Villeneuve3, P. B. Corkum3 & N. Dudovich1,3

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Strong-field light–matter interactions can encode the spatial properties of the electronic wavefunctions that contribute to the process1, 2, 3, 4. In particular, the broadband harmonic spectra, measured for a series of molecular alignments, can be used to create a tomographic reconstruction of molecular orbitals5. Here, we present an extension of the tomography approach to systems that cannot be naturally aligned. We demonstrate this ability by probing the two-dimensional properties of atomic wavefunctions. By manipulating an electron–ion recollision process6, we are able to resolve the symmetry of the atomic wavefunction with high contrast.

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  1. Department of Physics of Complex Systems, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
  2. CELIA, Université Bordeaux I, UMR 5107 (CNRS, Bordeaux 1, CEA), 351 Cours de la Libération, 33405 Talence Cedex, France
  3. National Research Council of Canada, 100 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R6, Canada

Correspondence to: P. B. Corkum3 e-mail: Paul.Corkum@nrc.ca

Correspondence to: N. Dudovich1,3 e-mail: fniritd@wisemail.weizmann.ac.il



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