Attosecond electron–spin dynamics in Xe 4d photoionization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The photoionization of xenon atoms in the 70–100 eV range reveals several fascinating physical phenomena such as a giant resonance induced by the dynamic rearrangement of the electron cloud after photon absorption, an anomalous branching ratio between intermediate Xe+ states separated by the spin-orbit interaction and multiple Auger decay processes. These phenomena have been studied in the past, using in particular synchrotron radiation, but without access to real-time dynamics. Here, we study the dynamics of Xe 4d photoionization on its natural time scale combining attosecond interferometry and coincidence spectroscopy. A time-frequency analysis of the involved transitions allows us to identify two interfering ionization mechanisms: the broad giant dipole resonance with a fast decay time less than 50 as, and a narrow resonance at threshold induced by spin-flip transitions, with much longer decay times of several hundred as. Our results provide insight into the complex electron-spin dynamics of photo-induced phenomena.


External organisations
  • Stockholm University
  • University of Gothenburg
  • Chalmers University of Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Original languageEnglish
Article number5042
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1
Publication categoryResearch