Observation of laser-assisted electron scattering in superfluid helium

Leonhard Treiber, Bernhard Thaler, Pascal Heim, Michael Stadlhofer, Reika Kanya, Markus Kitzler-Zeiler, Markus Koch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laser-assisted electron scattering (LAES), a light–matter interaction process that facilitates energy transfer between strong light fields and free electrons, has so far been observed only in gas phase. Here we report on the observation of LAES at condensed phase particle densities, for which we create nano-structured systems consisting of a single atom or molecule surrounded by a superfluid He shell of variable thickness (32–340 Å). We observe that free electrons, generated by femtosecond strong-field ionization of the core particle, can gain several tens of photon energies due to multiple LAES processes within the liquid He shell. Supported by Monte Carlo 3D LAES and elastic scattering simulations, these results provide the first insight into the interplay of LAES energy gain/loss and dissipative electron movement in a liquid. Condensed-phase LAES creates new possibilities for space-time studies of solids and for real-time tracing of free electrons in liquids.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4204
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


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