Chirality causes symmetry breaks in a large variety of natural phenomena ranging from particlephysics to biochemistry. We investigate one of the simplest conceivable chiral systems, a laser-excited, oriented, effective one-electron Li target. Prepared in a polarized p state with |m|= 1 in an optical trap, the atoms are exposed to co- and counterrotating circularly polarized femtosecond laser pulses. For a field frequency near the excitation energy of the oriented initial state, a strongcircular dichroism is observed and the photoelectron energies are significantly affected by the helicity-dependent Autler-Townes splitting. Besides its fundamental relevance, this system is suited to create spin-polarized electron pulses with a reversible switch on a femtosecond timescale at an energy resolution of a few meV.
A. H. De Silva et al., "Using Circular Dichroism to Control Energy Transfer in Multiphoton Ionization," Physical Review Letters, vol. 126, no. 2, article no. 23201, American Physical Society (APS), Jan 2021.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.126.023201
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12 Jan 2021