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Time-resolved Photoelectron Holography with Sculpted Fields

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, April 15, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Laser-induced holographic patterns that form in above-threshold ionization (ATI) photoelectron angular distributions (PADs) are a powerful tool for investigating ultrafast electron dynamics in real time (Huismans et al, Science 331, 61 (2011)). Indeed, there is experimental evidence of coupling between nuclear and electronic motion in PH (Meckel et al, Nat. Phys. 10, 594 (2014), Walt et al, Nat. Comm. 15, 651 (2017)). These patterns require a reference and probe signal, which are associated with different types of interfering electron orbits. Most theoretical models of photoelectron holography (PH), however, either treat the contributing orbits classically or neglect the binding potential in the continuum, which is an oversimplification. Using a novel approach developed at UCL in Professor Carla Faria’s group, the Coulomb Quantum Orbit Strong Field Approximation (CQSFA) (Lai et al, Phys. Rev. A 92, 043407 (2015)), we have achieved a much better understanding of how the key holographic patterns form, and of the interplay between the Coulomb potential and external field (Maxwell et al, Phys. Rev. A 96, 023420 (2017)). Our studies have also uncovered a myriad of holographic patterns that are normally overlooked in the literature. In an experimental setting, these patterns are however obfuscated by more prominent features.

In this project, the student will seek particular pulse shapes, frequencies and polarizations, in order to enhance or suppress specific holographic patterns. Milestones include extending the CQSFA to fields of arbitrary shapes, temporal profiles and polarization, exploring field symmetries, and studying how interference patterns are affected by the interaction with the environment and multielectron effects. These studies are essential for tackling extended systems in future work.

Funding Notes

Eligibility: The prospective student should have an MSc (or equivalent) in physics or a related area. They should have or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent). This project will require analytical and numerical skills. It will involve path integral methods, complex analysis, Mathematica, Matlab, and c++.

Funding: The studentship will cover tuition fees at the UK/EU rate, plus a maintenance stipend (standard maintenance stipend for the academic year 2020/2021 is £17400 per year).

For inquiries please contact Professor Carla Faria () and include a CV and transcript.

How good is research at University College London in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 110.53

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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