Mauro Fanciulli receives Physics Doctoral Thesis Award

© H. Dil 2019 EPFL

© H. Dil 2019 EPFL

We are very proud to announce that Mauro Fanciulli received the doctoral thesis award of the physics section for his thesis entitled ‘Spin polarization and attosecond time delay in photoemission from solids’

In his thesis work Mauro developed, and applied, a novel approach to determine the attosecond time scale of the photoemission process from the measured spin polarisation. In contrast to other approaches in the time domain, the unique combination of theory and experiment employed by Mauro allows to extract the absolute, and not only relative, time delay. Furthermore, the method does not require ultrashort photon pulses or an external reference time and as such allows to “measure time without a clock”. Mauro applied his method to plain copper and to the high temperature superconductor BSCCO, which yielded time scales of 26 and 85 attoseconds respectively, indicating the possible influence of correlation effects on the process. The developed method can also be applied to other physical processes relying on the transition from an initial to a final state, such as tunneling. In a broader context Mauro’s results open up a new research direction and yield a thrilling new insight in the fundamental time scale of quantum mechanical processes.

The work was performed in the SOIS group at the Institute of Physics at the EPFL, with most experiments performed at the COPHEE end station at the Swiss Light Source of the Paul Scherrer Institute.


The thesis work was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.