Angular momentum–induced delays in solid-state photoemission enhanced by intra-atomic interactions

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Science  22 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6357, pp. 1274-1277
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam9598

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Photoemission with a twist

Attosecond time-resolved spectroscopy provides the ability to probe the fastest electronic processes in atoms and solids. Yet the photoemission process from solids is not fully understood. Siek et al. studied photoemission from the layered van der Waals material WSe2 and found that electron emission occurs as a sequence of events that are apparently time-ordered with respect to rising angular momentum of the involved initial states (see the Perspective by Yakovlev and Karpowicz). This result will help provide a more detailed picture of the photoemission process.

Science, this issue p. 1274; see also p. 1239


Attosecond time-resolved photoemission spectroscopy reveals that photoemission from solids is not yet fully understood. The relative emission delays between four photoemission channels measured for the van der Waals crystal tungsten diselenide (WSe2) can only be explained by accounting for both propagation and intra-atomic delays. The intra-atomic delay depends on the angular momentum of the initial localized state and is determined by intra-atomic interactions. For the studied case of WSe2, the photoemission events are time ordered with rising initial-state angular momentum. Including intra-atomic electron-electron interaction and angular momentum of the initial localized state yields excellent agreement between theory and experiment. This has required a revision of existing models for solid-state photoemission, and thus, attosecond time-resolved photoemission from solids provides important benchmarks for improved future photoemission models.

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