Strong-Field Dynamics Group

Dr. Boris Bergues


Research interests

Imaging of ultrafast processes in atoms and molecules

  • Electron Imaging Spectroscopy (VMI)
  • Electron Ion Coincidence Momentum Spectroscopy (COLTRIMS)

Nonlinear interactions of matter with attosecond XUV pulses

  • Generation of intense attosecond XUV pulses
  • Ion microscopy

Theory of strong field processes 

  • Semiclassical calculations
  • Quantum trajectory approaches

Strong field processes in solids

  • Light driven currents in solid materials
  • Time domain THz spectroscopy

Team members

Bsc. Johannes Blöchl
Msc. Ritika Dagar
Franz Haniel
Msc. Weiwei Li
Msc. Ancyline Maliakkal
Msc. Philipp Rosenberger
Dr. Hartmut Schröder
Dr. Zilong Wang
Jonas Zimmermann


What happens when matter is exposed to intense laser pulses with electric fields comparable to those holding the electrons bound to the nuclei? How can we use such strong electric fields to control and steer the electron motion with a precision reaching down into the attosecond time scale? These are questions addressed in the strong field physics team. We are working with different experimental setups to investigate these questions in various materials, ranging from atoms and molecules to solids. The work horse of our experimental research are ultrashort laser pulses generated with state-of-the-art laser systems, and with durations barely longer than a single light wave oscillation.

Current Projects

3D Coincidence momentum spectroscopy

In the COLTRIMS (COLd Target Recoil Ion Momentum Spectroscopy) project, the interaction of near single cycle laser pulses with atoms and molecules is studied by measuring the momentum of the fragments (electrons and ions) in coincidence. The combination of COLTRIMS with single-shot carrier-envelope phase measurements enables the control of ionization and dissociation processes with sub-cycle temporal resolution.

Attosecond tracing of correlated electron-emission in non-sequential double ionization
B. Bergues, M. Kübel, N. Kling, B. Fischer, N. Camus, K. Betsch, O. Herrwerth, A. Senftleben, A. M. Sayler, T. Rathje, T. Pfeifer, I. Ben-Itzhak, R. R. Jones, G. Paulus, F. Krausz, R. Moshammer, J. Ullrich, M. Kling
Nature Communications 3, 813 (2012) | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1807

Ion Microscopy

When ultrashort and intense laser pulses are focused onto an atomic gas, different ionic charge states are generated upon multiple photoionization. The spatial distribution of the different charge states depends on the intensity distribution in the laser focus. By spatially resolving the charge state distribution, our ion microscopy technique provides access tointensity resolved ion yields. The technique is particularly well suited to studying ultrafast light-matter interactions in the XUV spectral range. It has recently allowed the first demonstration ofnonlinear interactions between attosecond XUV pulses and core electrons in xenon.

Tabletop nonlinear optics in the 100-eV spectral region
B. Bergues, D. Rivas, M. Weidman, A. Muschet, W. Helml, A. Guggenmos, V. Pervak, U. Kleineberg, G. Marcus, R. Kienberger, D. Charalambidis, P. Tzallas, H. Schröder, F. Krausz, L. Veisz
Optica 5, 237 (2018) | DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.5.000237

 Reaction nanoscopy

Reaction nanoscopy is a novel technique designed to study the interaction of few-cycle laser pulses with nanoparticles and molecules adsorbed on their surface. Nanoparticles are of great interest in nanochemistry since they offer unique properties as photo-catalysts due to their large surface area. Enhanced near-fields, induced on the nanoparticle’s surface under irradiation with ultrashort light pulses can be used to control molecular photoionization and dissociation reactions on the nanoscale.


Few-cycle laser driven reaction nanoscopy on aerosolized silica nanoparticles
P. Rupp, C. Burger, N. Kling, M. Kübel, S. Mitra, P. Rosenberger, T. Weatherby, N. Saito, J. Itatani, T. Otsuka, A. Alnaser, M. Raschke, E. Rühl, A. Schlander, M. Gallei, L. Seiffert, T. Fennel, B. Bergues, M. Kling
Nature Communications 10, 4655 (2019) | DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12580-0

Ultrafast currents

In the ultrafast current project, we explore alternative routes to sample the field of few-cycle laser pulses. The principle relies on the generation of strongly driven currents in solids and gases. Beyond the application to CEP measurements and field sampling, we use the information contained in the ultrafast currents to gain a deeper understanding of the strong-field electron dynamics in various materials.


Femtosecond streaking in ambient air
A. Korobenko et al.
Optica 7, 1372 (2020) | DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.398846

Single-shot carrier–envelope-phase measurement in ambient air
M. Kubullek et al.
Optica 7, 35 (2020) | DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.7.000035

Thesis Supervision / Co-Supervision

PhD students:

2020 – present
Ancyline Maliakkal
Ultrafast current studies in gases and solids
2019 − present
Ritika Dagar
Coincidence spectroscopy of ultrafast dynamics on nanostructures
2018 − present
Philipp Rosenberger
Ultrafast imaging of molecular reactions using electron-ion coincidence spectroscopy
2017 − present
Sambit Mitra
Reaction Nanoscopy of molecular reactions on the surface of nano-spheres
2016 − 2019
Philipp Rupp
Ultrafast dynamics on nanostructures in strong fields
2016 − 2018
Christian Burger
Laser Induced isomerization of hydrocarbons
2012 − 2016
Daniel Rivas
Generation of Intense Isolated Attosecond Pulses at 100 eV
2010 − 2014
Matthias Kübel
Single-Cycle Non-Sequential Double Ionization
2008 − 2011
Oliver Herrwerth
Atomic and Molecular Ionization Dynamics in Strong IR and XUV Fields Probed by Time-Resolved Coincidence Spectroscopy
2008 − 2012
Irina Znakovskaya
Light-Waveform Control of Molecular Processes
MSc students:
2020 – present
Johannes Blöchl
2017 − 2018
Thomas Weatherby
Reaction Nanoscopy: Near-Field-Induced, Dissociative Ionisation from Nanoparticles in Solution
2017 − 2018
Philipp Rosenberger
Control of quantum dynamics in H2 by ultra-short phase-stable laser pulses
2016 − 2017
Wilhelm Frisch
Light-Waveform Control of Molecular Processes
2014 − 2015
Alexander Muschet
Ion Microscopy for Attosecond XUV Pulse Diagnostics
Till Hause
Characterization of a GRENOUILLE
BSc students:
2020 − present
Jonas Zimmermann
Optical Characterization of Aerosolized Nanoparticles
2019 − 2020
Franz Haniel
Development of a New Ion Microscope Design Using Machine Learning Tools
2018 − 2019
Klaas von der Brelje
Ultrafast Dynamics in Nano-layer Materials
2017 − 2018
Max Kubullek
CEP Measurement of Circularly Polarized Laser Pulses in Fused Silica