ELYCHE project

The research activity of ELYCHE (ELectron-scale dYnamics in CHEmistry) takes advantage of the expertise in attosecond science acquired in the last decade by the attosecond group at the Physics Department of Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy. 

The target of the project is the experimental demonstration of attosecond coherent control of electronic motion in matter, with particular emphasis on molecules with biological interest. The success of the project is based on the possibility to initiate and control the sub-femtosecond electron dynamics by using high-intensity isolated attosecond pulses. Such electron motion precedes and determines the subsequent nuclear rearrangement, which ultimately leads to the chemical change. 

The project is highly interdisciplinary, since it combines challenging achievements in various fields: laser technology, extreme nonlinear optics, XUV optics, atomic and molecular physics, molecular modeling, inorganic and organic chemistry, biophysics.

ELYCHE project is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement n. 227355.

Paper on Chemical Reviews:
M. Nisoli et al., Chem. Rev. 117, 10621-11124 (2017)

Ultrafast charge dynamics in the amino acid phenylalanine excited by an attosecond pulse: the snapshots reveal a notable variation of the charge density with a period of a few femtoseconds. The measurement of this ultrafast electron dynamics is a crucial benchmark for the extension of attosecond techniques to complex molecules.