We investigate strong field induced dynamics in a variety of systems, including atoms, molecules, clusters, and solids, and aim at resolving the underlying mechanisms on their natural scales, i.e. with sub-femtosecond time resolution and at the Ångström spatial scale. We employ strong fields and the resulting strong-field processes as a tool for imaging, probing and steering the fundamental electronic processes. The major goal is the active manipulation of the excitation dynamics and the resulting non-linear response and the control of ionization dynamics and structural changes in the gas phase and in dielectric solids.
The recent technological advances in the generation of ultra-short, intense, fs-laser IR pulses, and the combined use of bi-circular pulses, have opened a myriad of possibilities for (i) studying strong field phenomena that permit the imaging and dynamical tracking of electronic and nuclear motion in atoms and molecules, and (ii) enable sculpting the dynamical evolution in order to steer electronic and nuclear dynamics towards a desired outcome. This goal is a central cornerstone of this project. In addition, the possibility to generate intense HHG pulses enables the control of strong-field processes in dielectric clusters and solids with unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution. Cross-fertilization of ideas between theory and experimental teams is at the core of our efforts.
Our fundamental and basic research is divided into four core topics: