Scientists from Switzerland have succeeded in generating the world's shortest laser pulse with a duration of only 43 attoseconds.
This laser pulse is the shortest controlled event that has ever been created by humans. The discovery was made by researchers from ETH Zurich in Switzerland.
The development will now allow researchers to observe in high detail how electrons move within a molecule or how chemical bonds are formed.
• To fully understand the dynamics during a chemical reaction, scientists must be able to study all movements of atoms and molecules on their basic time scale.
• Molecules rotate in the range of picoseconds, their atoms vibrate in the range of femtoseconds, and the electrons move in the range of attoseconds.
• The Attosecond spectroscopy could contribute to the development of more efficient solar cells, as for the first time it would be possible to follow the process of excitation through sunlight up to the generation of electricity step by step.
• A detailed understanding of the charge transfer pathway could help optimizing the efficiency of the next generation of photosensitive elements.
• The laser pulse can also be used to alter the course of a chemical reaction, even chemical bonds can be broken by stopping the charge shift at a certain location in the molecule.