Interactions of Ultrashort Field with Solid Surfaces and Nanostructures - Project 04

Project Leader: Joachim Burgdörfer

The focus of this project part is on the development and application of wavepacket-propagation methods to explore ultrashort light-matter interactions spanning the time scales from attosecond to nanoseconds in nanostructures, surfaces, and in the condensed phase.

Following light-driven dynamics of electronic motion is key to both the microscopic understanding of photonic processes in matter and to develop novel protocols for light synthesis and characterization. The interaction of intense few-cycle pulses requires a non-perturbative treatment well beyond a single or few-photon picture as the instantaneous field amplitude rather than the cycle-averaged spectral intensity controls the ensuing electronic dynamics. In turn, the non-linear response of matter modifies the electromagnetic field resulting in pronounced changes in phase, amplitude, and spectral content. Following the evolution of the pulse-driven coherent excitation in the many-body environment of the solid requires in many cases an open-quantum system approach to account for dephasing and decoherence.

The methods employed lend themselves to a multitude of applications within this SFB. Envisioned applications during the first four-year period include the simulation of sub-cycle ionization dynamics in bulk and nanoscale dielectrics exploring transient metallization, field enhancement and dielectric breakdown, above-threshold photoemission and harmonic generation from nanostructures, controlling dephasing by optimal shaping of pulses strongly coupled to NV color centers in diamond, and few-cycle THz pulse driven interband transitions in semiconducting quantum-well heterostructures.

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