Attophysics was developed since 2001 when pulses and trains of attopulses (ATPT) with durations of hundreds of attoseconds were obtained. One attosecond (1 as= 10-18 s) is a thousandth of a millionth of millionth of a second. The characterization of these ATPT may be performed through a scheme called RABBITT (Reconstruction of Attosecond Beating by Interference of Two-photon Transitions). In such scheme, the ATPT ionizes an atomic target in the presence of an assistant near infrared (NIR) laser of low intensity.

As the typical orbiting time of electrons in atoms and molecules lies in the attosecond domain, one of the aims of Attophysics is the chemical reactivity control. In a recent work [1], we show that the ejection of electrons as a function of the emission angle θe from atoms in the RABBITT scheme is equivalent to the one of the simple photoionization of diatomic molecules. Our results suggest an interference mechanism due to the coherent emission from ‘virtual centers’ generated by the assistant laser as if they were the centers of such molecules. An interesting conclusion from these researches is that we could control the photoionization of atoms by means of these interferences to achieve even the inhibition of the electron emission.

[1] “Atomic RABBITT-like experiments framed as diatomic molecules”;
Diego I. R. Boll and Omar A. Fojon,
J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 49 185601 (2016)