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Phys Rev Lett. 2018 Mar 30;120(13):133204. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.133204.

Direct Visualization of Valence Electron Motion Using Strong-Field Photoelectron Holography.

He M1, Li Y1, Zhou Y1, Li M1, Cao W1, Lu P1,2.

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School of Physics and Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China.
Laboratory of Optical Information Technology, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan 430205, China.


Watching the valence electron move in molecules on its intrinsic timescale has been one of the central goals of attosecond science and it requires measurements with subatomic spatial and attosecond temporal resolutions. The time-resolved photoelectron holography in strong-field tunneling ionization holds the promise to access this realm. However, it remains to be a challenging task hitherto. Here we reveal how the information of valence electron motion is encoded in the hologram of the photoelectron momentum distribution (PEMD) and develop a novel approach of retrieval. As a demonstration, applying it to the PEMDs obtained by solving the time-dependent Schrödinger equation for the prototypical molecule H_{2}^{+}, the attosecond charge migration is directly visualized with picometer spatial and attosecond temporal resolutions. Our method represents a general approach for monitoring attosecond charge migration in more complex polyatomic and biological molecules, which is one of the central tasks in the newly emerging attosecond chemistry.

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