The natural timescale for electron dynamics reaches down to the attosecond domain. Following the discovery of attosecond laser pulses, about a decade ago, attosecond science has developed into a vibrant, new research field, where the motion of single or multiple electrons and, in molecules, the coupling of electronic and nuclear motion, can be investigated, on attosecond to few-femtosecond timescales. Attosecond experiments require suitable observables. This review describes how “attosecond imaging”, basing itself on kinetic energy and angle-resolved detection of photoelectrons and fragment ions using a velocity map imaging (VMI) spectrometer, has been exploited in a number of pump–probe experiments. The use of a VMI spectrometer in attosecond experiments has allowed the characterization of attosecond pulse trains and isolated attosecond pulses, the elucidation of continuum electron dynamics and wave packet interferometry in atomic photoionization and the observation of electron localization in dissociative molecular photoionization.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Imaging molecular dynamics