Determination of the carrier-envelope phase of ultrashort laser pulses using metal surfaces

Christoph Lemell
(Inst. f. Theoretical Physics, Vienna University of Technology),

Peter Dombi
(Photonics Inst., Vienna University of Technology),

Xiao Min Tong
(Dept. of Physics, Kansas State University),

Ferenc Krausz
(Photonics Inst., Vienna University of Technology),

Joachim Burgdörfer
(Inst. f. Theoretical Physics, Vienna University of Technology)

Many results of ultrashort-laser matter experiments strongly depend on the relative phase \varphi of the field oscillations with respect to the peak of the laser pulse. Until recently, determination of \varphi was limited by a \pm \pi ambiguity and restricted to high-energy (\gg 1 \muJ) pulses. Control mechanisms for pulses at moderate intensity levels were missing. Our simulations of ultrashort laser pulses interacting with metal surfaces based on time dependent density functional theory indicate that photoemission from surfaces, especially in the multiphoton regime (I<10^13 W/cm^2), might be a promising candidate for measuring \varphi for pulse durations \tau shorter than 10 fs. To better understand this surprising result we set up a classical trajectory Monte Carlo simulation of the process including photon absorption by conduction band electrons giving insight into the relative importance of underlying mechanisms. First experiments support out predictions.

This work has been supported by Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung under project no. FWF-SFB016.

This work was supported by the Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Biosciences Division,
Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy.

Submitted to DAMOP, May 2004 in Tucson, AZ.

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