Nature communications

Field propagation-induced directionality of carrier-envelope phase-controlled photoemission from nanospheres.

PMID 26264422


Near-fields of non-resonantly laser-excited nanostructures enable strong localization of ultrashort light fields and have opened novel routes to fundamentally modify and control electronic strong-field processes. Harnessing spatiotemporally tunable near-fields for the steering of sub-cycle electron dynamics may enable ultrafast optoelectronic devices and unprecedented control in the generation of attosecond electron and photon pulses. Here we utilize unsupported sub-wavelength dielectric nanospheres to generate near-fields with adjustable structure and study the resulting strong-field dynamics via photoelectron imaging. We demonstrate field propagation-induced tunability of the emission direction of fast recollision electrons up to a regime, where nonlinear charge interaction effects become dominant in the acceleration process. Our analysis supports that the timing of the recollision process remains controllable with attosecond resolution by the carrier-envelope phase, indicating the possibility to expand near-field-mediated control far into the realm of high-field phenomena.