Scientists measure speedy electrons in silicon

11 diciembre 2014

Attosecond lasers provide the shortest light pulses yet, allowing observation of nature’s most short-lived events. Researchers have used these lasers for the first time to take snapshots of electrons jumping from silicon atoms into the conduction band of a semiconductor, the key event behind the transistor. They clocked the jump at 450 attoseconds and saw the rebound of the crystal lattice 60 femtoseconds later: a delay 120 times longer than the jump itself.