Controlling electric currents in isolated atoms with controlled light fields has led to the birth of at-tosecond pulses. The same control in nano-circuits may revolutionise modern electronics. Our research on lightwave (nano-)electronics aims at pushing the frontiers of electronics from multi-gigahertz to multi-hundred-terahertz / sub-petahertz frequencies. If successfully accomplished, this development will herald the potential scalability of electron-based information technologies to lightwave frequencies surpassing the speed of current computation and communication technol-ogy by 4-5 orders of magnitude. A key to demonstrating this enormous potential is to understand and control collective electron dynamics in nanostructured materials on few-femtosecond to sub-femtosecond time scales and monitor this control with resolutions reaching the Angstrom scale.
Experimentally, our pivotal tools will be synthesised few-cycle / sub-cycle light waveforms com-posed of frequencies spanning all the way from the mid-infrared (MIR) through visible (VIS) to the ultraviolet (UV) permitting light waveform sculpting with attosecond precision. These engineered light fields will be applied in studies with ultrahigh spatial and temporal resolution on homogeneous as well as hybrid nanostructured systems composed of metal, semiconductor and dielectric materials where light-field control of the collective electron motion will result in electronic currents, photoelectron emission, photon radiation and variation of the optical properties of the solid-state system. Theoretically, the excitation, transport and scattering of charge carriers present challeng-ing problems since many conventional approximations lose their validity on the attosecond time scale. We will advance quantum-kinetic and correlated-wave-packet methods to develop the the-oretical foundations of lightwave nano-electronics.
Our long-term goals and visions
Electronics inexorably evolves to ever smaller size and ever higher speed. Where are the ultimate physical limits? Lightwave synthesis, attosecond metrology and atomic-resolution imaging are the key technologies for answering this question and exploring ways for approaching the ultimate frontier: lightwave nano-electronics. We envision developing the symbiotic experimental techniques and theoretical concepts serving as a basis in the quest for ultimate electronics. To this end, we aim to use tailored synthesised light waveforms and attosecond pulses for control and real-time tracking, respectively, of localised surface plasmons, propagating plasmon polaritons, electron emission, collective electron motion in dielectrics and semiconductors, ultrafast phase-transitions (e.g. metallisation of dielectrics) and electric currents in solid-state devices. Ultimately, these processes will have to be monitored with sub-femtosecond temporal and sub-nanometer spatial resolution by means of time-resolved electron diffraction / imaging. These control and monitoring capabilities will be indispensable for the realisation of lightwave nano-electronics.
B.3.1 | Ultra-wideband light waveform synthesis (Eleftherios Goulielmakis, Ferenc Krausz)
B.3.2 | Light-controlled electric current: exploring the limits of electronics (Nikolaus Karpowicz, Vladislav Yakovlev)
B.3.3 | Attosecond control of collective electron dynamics in solids (Matthias Kling, Armin Scrinzi)
B.3.4 | Visualisation of atomic- and nano-scale charge dynamics by electron diffraction (Peter Baum)
B.3.5 | Lightwave control of electron emission from nanotips (Peter Hommelhoff, Matthias Nest)
Eleftherios Goulielmakis, Ferenc Krausz, Peter Hommelhoff
J. V. Barth, E. Goulielmakis, R. Kienberger, U. Kleineberg, F. Krausz, V. Yakovlev
Other Project Leaders:
P. Baum, P. Hommelhoff, N. Karpowicz, M. Kling, M. Nest, J. Reichert, A. Scrinzi