Laser-induced electron recollisions are fundamental to many strong field phenomena in atoms and molecules. Using the recently developed quantitative rescattering theory, we demonstrate that the nonsequential double ionization (NSDI) of atoms by lasers can be obtained quantitatively in terms of inelastic collisions of the target ions with the free returning electrons where the latter are explicitly given by a spectrum-characterized wave packet. Using argon atoms as target, we calculated the NSDI yield including contributions from direct (e,2e) electron-impact ionization and electron-impact excitation accompanied by subsequent field ionization. We further investigate the dependence of total NSDI on the carrier-envelope phase of few-cycle laser pulses, and showed that the effect can be experimentally observed by measuring the yield of doubly charged ions only.




This work was supported in part by Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Biosciences Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy.

Keywords and Phrases

Argon; Atomic Physics; Atomic Spectroscopy; Atoms; Electrons; Inert Gases; Ionization; Ionization Of Gases; Laser Beams; Laser Pulses; Laser Theory; Lasers; Programming Theory; Pulsed Laser Applications, Argon Atoms; Carrier-Envelope Phase; Doubly Charged Ions; Electron Recollisions; Electron-Impact Excitations; Electron-Impact Ionizations; Few-Cycle Laser Pulse; Field Ionizations; Inelastic Collisions; Intense Laser Pulse; Laser-Induced; Nonsequential Double Ionizations; Rescattering; Strong Fields; Target Ions, Impact Ionization

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2009 American Physical Society (APS), All rights reserved.

Included in

Physics Commons