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Photoelectric effect with a twist

Photons have fixed spin and unbounded orbital angular momentum (OAM). Here we have found, that the OAM of an optical field can be imprinted coherently onto a propagating electron wave. Our results reveal new aspects of light–matter interaction and point to a new kind of single-photon electron spectroscopy. G. De Ninno et al. Nature Photonics, 14, 554 (2020)



 
The spatial distribution of an optical field with vortex phase profile can be imprinted coherently on a photoelectron wavepacket that recedes from atoms distributed randomly over the laser spot. The large extension of the XUV-photoinduced electron wavepacket, combined with the continuum–continuum transitions driven by the infrared laser, are key for explaining the success of our experiment, in spite of the very different size of atoms and OAM (orbital angular momentum) beam waist. Our results explore new aspects of light–matter interaction and point to qualitatively novel analytical tools, which can be used to study, for example, the electronic structure of intrinsic chiral organic molecules.
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De Ninno G., Wätzel J., Rebernik Ribič P., Allaria E., Coreno M., Danailov M.B., David C., Demidovich A., Di Fraia M., Giannessi L., Hansen K., Krušič Š., Manfredda M., Meyer M., Mihelič A., Mirian N., Plekan O., Ressel B., Rösner B., Simoncig A., Spampinati S., Stupar M., Žitnik M., Zangrando M., Callegari C., Berakdar J. Nature Photonics, Vol. 14, pp. 554-558 (2020)
doi: 10.1038/s41566-020-0669-y

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 October 2020 16:58