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When intense laser pulses release electrons nonsequentially, the time delay between the last recollision and the subsequent ionization may last longer than what is expected from a direct impact scenario [recollision excitation with subsequent ionization (RESI)]. We show that the resulting delayed ionization stems from the inner electron being promoted to a sticky region. We identify the mechanism that traps and releases the electron from this region. As a signature of this mechanism, we predict oscillations in the ratio of RESI to double ionization yields versus laser intensity. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Physical Review Letters