Measurement and laser control of attosecond charge migration in ionized iodoacetylene

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Science  13 Nov 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6262, pp. 790-795
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab2160

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Electronic movement flashing into view

Numerous chemical processes begin with ionization: the ejection of an electron from a molecule. What happens in the immediate aftermath of that event? Kraus et al. explored this question in iodoacetylene by detecting and analyzing the spectrum of emitted high harmonics (see the Perspective by Ueda). They traced the migration of the residual positively charged hole along the molecular axis on a time scale faster than a quadrillionth of a second. They thereby characterized the capacity of a laser field to steer the hole's motion in appropriately oriented molecules.

Science, this issue p. 790; see also p. 740