Trains of attosecond electron wave packets

P. Johnsson, Lunds Tekniska Högskola
K. Varjú, Lunds Tekniska Högskola
T. Remetter, Lunds Tekniska Högskola
E. Gustafsson, Lunds Tekniska Högskola
J. Mauritsson, Louisiana State University
R. López-Martens, Laboratoire d'Optique Appliquée
S. Kazamias, Universite Paris-Saclay
C. Valentin, Laboratoire d'Optique Appliquée
P. H. Balcou, Laboratoire d'Optique Appliquée
M. B. Gaarde, Louisiana State University
K. J. Schafer, Louisiana State University
A. L’Huillier, Lunds Tekniska Högskola


We study temporally localized electron wave packets, generated using a train of extreme ultraviolet (XUV) attosecond pulses to ionize the target atoms. Both the electron wave packets and the attosecond pulse train (APT) are characterized using the same technique, based on interference of two-photon transitions in the continuum. We study, in particular, the energy transfer from a moderately strong infrared (IR) field to the electron wave packets as a function of time delay between the XUV and the IR fields. The use of an APT to generate the electron wave packets enables the generation at times not accessible through tunneling ionization. We find that a significant amount of energy is transferred from the IR field to the electron wave packets, when they are generated at a zero-crossing of the IR laser field. This energy transfer results in a dramatically enhanced above-threshold ionization even at IR intensities that alone are not strong enough to induce any significant ionization. © 2006 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.