Light-field control of electric current in metal-dielectric nano-circuits

Agustin Schiffrin, Tim Paasch-Colberg, Daniel Gerster, Nicholas Karpowicz, Sascha Muhlbrandt, Joachim Reichert, Johannes V. Barth, Reinhard Kienberger, Ralph Ernstorfer, Ferenc Krausz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther


The advent of intense few-cycle near infrared (NIR) laser pulses with stable and tunable carrier envelope phase (CEP) has enabled the control of electromagnetic fields with attosecond time precision [1]. Here we aim at exploiting these few-cycle NIR optical fields with well-defined CEP to generate and control the motion of charge carriers within heterogeneous nanoscaled solid state interfaces. We demonstrate the generation of directly measurable photocurrents in unbiased metal-dielectric-metal nanogaps, whose magnitude and directionality can be tuned with the laser CEP. This effect vanishes with the increase of the laser pulse duration. We claim that such phenomenon is the signature of optically induced electron tunneling at the heterogeneous interface, with subsequent acceleration of the charge carrier in the ultrashort laser field.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe (CLEO EUROPE 2011) and 12th European Quantum Electronics Conference (EQEC 2011)
Subtitle of host publication22-26 May 2011, Munich, Germany
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventEuropean Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and European Quantum Electronics Conference 2011 - Munich, Germany
Duration: 22 May 201126 May 2011
Conference number: 12th (Proceedings)


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and European Quantum Electronics Conference 2011
Abbreviated titleCLEO Europe/EQEC 2011
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