Head of Attophysic group :

Scientific goals

In the last ten years, the development of perfectly controlled femtosecond laser pulses at high intensities and few-cycle duration has opened a whole new range of opportunities. Indeed, this allows controlling with fs/as precision their interaction with matter and, in particular, creating secondary sources of XUV radiation in the attosecond range (1 as= 10-18 s) using the high harmonic generation (HHG) process. These advanced femtosecond/attosecond sources allow probing the structure and dynamics of matter on the atomic/electronic timescales and lengthscales (Angström). This has become a hot topic in the scientific community with intense international competition.


Based on the expertise accumulated over 30 years of intense laser-matter studies, the main goals of the Attophysics group in the last five years have been the following:

  1. Understand and control the laser-driven rescattering dynamics of an oscillating electron with the ion core, that leads to a number of important processes, such as electron-ion elastic scattering, multiple ionization or recombination with emission of attosecond pulses of XUV light
  2. Develop the attosecond technologies, i.e., the synthesis of attosecond sources with controlled properties (polarization, single/multiple pulses separated in space/time, …), their advanced characterization using attosecond metrology, the buildup of integrated attosecond beamlines stable and reliable for users
  3. Develop new types of spectroscopies (high harmonic spectroscopy, attosecond photoionization spectroscopy) making use of the attosecond emission in order to study ultrafast electronic and nuclear dynamics in the gas phase as well as in the solid phase
  4. Develop new (lensless) imaging techniques in the XUV with high temporal (atto/femto) and spatial (nm) resolutions allowing the observation of various dynamical processes (spin reversal of magnetic nano-domains, biological cell imaging)
  5. Study high harmonic generation in solids (semiconductors, dielectrics, 2D materials: graphene, MoSe2) for applications to: ’all-solid-state’ attosecond emission, spatio-temporal manipulations, nanoplamonics, PHz optoelectronics…

A particularly important goal has been the coordination of the EquipEX ATTOLAB associating 9 laboratories of the Paris-Saclay and Cergy-Pontoise Universities and the construction of a new facility at CEA-Orme des Merisiers for the studies of ultrafast dynamics in the gas and solid phases, officially opened on 22/02/2017.



Research topics

Strong-field rescattering physics

Multiple ionization & Molecular Imaging

High Harmonic Generation and Attosecond physics

Coherent diffraction imaging of nanometric objects

Seeding an Free Electron laser

Other applications



Recolliding Electron WavePacket (EWP) in a strong laser field. The two coherent scattering channels, EWP diffraction and EWP radiative recombination with attosecond emission keep an imprint of the nuclear structure and of the electronic orbital in the molecule.























Last update : 08/03 2018 (1148)

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