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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Mar 23;107(12):5329-33. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913556107. Epub 2010 Mar 8.

Spatiotemporal control of nanooptical excitations.

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Fachbereich Physik and Research Center OPTIMAS, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Erwin-Schrödinger-Strasse 46, 67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany.


The most general investigation and exploitation of light-induced processes require simultaneous control over spatial and temporal properties of the electromagnetic field on a femtosecond time and nanometer length scale. Based on the combination of polarization pulse shaping and time-resolved two-photon photoemission electron microscopy, we demonstrate such control over nanoscale spatial and ultrafast temporal degrees of freedom of an electromagnetic excitation in the vicinity of a nanostructure. The time-resolved cross-correlation measurement of the local photoemission yield reveals the switching of the nanolocalized optical near-field distribution with a lateral resolution well below the diffraction limit and a temporal resolution on the femtosecond time scale. In addition, successful adaptive spatiotemporal control demonstrates the flexibility of the method. This flexible simultaneous control of temporal and spatial properties of nanophotonic excitations opens new possibilities to tailor and optimize the light-matter interaction in spectroscopic methods as well as in nanophotonic applications.

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