Light-field control of currents in graphene – published in Nanophotonics

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In a special issue in memorial of our late colleague Mark Stockman, we compare two methods of light-field control of electric currents in graphene: Control via the carrier-envelope phase (CEP) of a single laser pulse at a central light frequency ω, and 2-color control using laser pulses at central light frequencies ω and 2ω. By direct comparison, we found that the resulting current amplitude dominates by 2 orders of magnitude using 2-color control compared to CEP control. The high current can be explained with the help of the temporal symmetry of the light fields; in the case of the ω + 2ω field, the symmetry is significantly more broken and directly translates into a correspondingly higher ballistic current in the interaction with graphene. With this contribution, we take up Mark Stockman’s pioneering work in the strong-field interaction with 2D materials and show that tailored electron control by ω + 2ω fields could make an important contribution.

In addition to controlling electrons in graphene, we show in this special issue that this is also possible on plasmonic structures using two-color fields.