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Attosecond electron dynamics in biologically relevant molecules.
Calegari F., Ayuso D., Trabattoni A., De Camillis S., Frassetto F., Poletto L., Palacios A., Decleva P., Greenwood J., Martin F., Nisoli M.
Attosecond technology is now a very powerful tool for the observation and control of ultrafast electron dynamics in atoms, molecules, nanostructures and solids. Here we report on the application of isolated attosecond pulses to the investigation of ultrafast electron dynamics in a biologically relevant molecule, the amino acid phenylalanine. Prompt ionization induced by attosecond pulses initiates a charge migration mainly between the amine and the carboxylic groups on a sub-5m fs temporal scale. The ability to initiate and observe such electronic dynamics in polyatomic molecules opens new perspectives for attosecond science, moving towards the investigation of more and more complex systems.