Emergent Relativistic Effects in Condensed Matter
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16.11.2020

Quantitative sampling of atomic-scale electromagnetic waveforms


D. Peller, C. Roelcke, L. Z. Kastner, T. Buchner, A. Neef, J. Hayes, F. Bonafé, D. Sidler, M. Ruggenthaler,
A. Rubio, R. Huber, J. Repp

Nature Photonics

Tailored nanostructures can confine electromagnetic waveforms in extremely sub-wavelength volumes, opening new avenues in lightwave sensing and control down to sub-molecular resolution. Atomic light-matter interaction depends critically on the absolute strength and the precise time evolution of the near field, which may be strongly influenced by quantum-mechanical effects. However, measuring atom-scale field transients has remained out of reach. Here we introduce quantitative atomic-scale waveform sampling in lightwave scanning tunnelling microscopy to resolve a tip-confined near-field transient. Our parameter-free calibration employs a single-molecule switch as an atomic-scale voltage standard. Although salient features of the far-to-near-field transfer follow classical electrodynamics, we develop a comprehensive understanding of the atomic-scale waveforms with time-dependent density functional theory. The simulations validate our calibration and confirm that single-electron tunnelling ensures minimal back-action of the measurement process on the electromagnetic fields. Our observations access an uncharted domain of nano-opto-electronics where local quantum dynamics determine femtosecond atomic near fields.

 

https://www.uni-regensburg.de/pressearchiv/pressemitteilung/1092760.html

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41566-020-00720-8

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