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Attosecond electron dynamics: from atoms to biomolecules


The temporal resolution provided by XUV attosecond pulses (1 as= 10-18 s) allows one to follow the electron dynamics in matter. The research activity at the basis of the thesis work is focused on the investigation of the ultrafast electron dynamics occurring in biomolecules and nanoparticles. 

Attosecond physics in biomolecules
Charge migration process, which is currently a hot topic in attosecond science, will be studied. Indeed, this process plays a crucial role in fundamental biological mechanisms such as the transmission of biological signals in proteins and DNA. Aminoacids and small peptides are currently under investigation by using state of the art experimental techniques based on the use of high-energy attosecond pulses.

Attosecond physics in nanostructures
Control of electron dynamics in nano-materials can revolutionize modern electronics by achieving much higher computation and communication speeds. A key to demonstrating this enormous potential is to understand and control collective electron dynamics in nanostructured materials on few-femtosecond to sub-femtosecond time scales and monitor this control with resolutions in the nanometer scale. To this purpose, attosecond dynamics in dielectric (SiO2, TiO2, ...) and metallic (Au, Ag, ...) nanoparticles as well as small clusters will be investigated.
This thesis work will be performed in the ERC-granted ELYCHE laboratory: