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Source: COST Annual Report 2017 | April 10, 2018

COST has chosen the histories of Luca Argenti as one of the 10 success stories featured in its 2017 Annual Report. It is an example of an early career investigator who, thanks to his involvement in COST XLIC Action activities, got a new research position, had opportunities to learn from their more experienced peers across Europe and contributed to new scientific breakthroughs.

Luca Argenti was part of a COST network that was a ‘virtual institute’ of worldwide experts in his field. He joined the ‘XUV/X-ray light and fast ions for ultrafast chemistry’ (XLIC) Action from its start in 2013.

The Action, chaired by Manuel Alcami (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and IMDEA-Nanoscience) aimed to coordinate European scientists to find possible applications for novel light sources and particle accelerators.   XLIC created a network of experts in ionisation and laser physics from 150 groups in Europe, the USA, Australia and Ukraine. Together, they developed  theories, research techniques and computer programs that can help scientists better understand and control how molecules interact with x-ray light waves or with high-energy ions – molecules with an electric charge.

Argenti’s commitment to the Action led to personal success. “COST presented me to the world. I met all the experimentalists and theoreticians with whom I did my most impactful works, landing papers in Science, Nature and Nature Communications”, he says.

The contacts led to a major career step. In 2016, he became an assistant professor in the University of Central Florida, where he is now creating his own research group. “This was thanks to the COST Action,” he says.

Although he is now in the USA, he still has close ties with XLIC colleagues and would like to be involved in future COST Actions. “COST takes researchers out of seclusion and gives real meaning to ‘synergy’. It is a good incubator for long-term projects with a high impact,” he concludes.

The 4th General Meeting of the COST Action CM1204 “XUV/X-ray light and fast ions for ultrafast chemistry (XLIC)” was held in Prague, Czech Republic from 14th to 16th March 2017. The meeting was organised by J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences and it was hosted by Hotel Pyramida located in walking distance from several Prague’s most famous historical sites such as Prague Castle, Strahov Monastery and Malá Strana (‘Lesser Town’).

The meeting was divided into eight sessions, in which a total of 23 invited speakers presented their research. Additional two sessions were dedicated to the 3rd Young Scientist Forum where 12 early stage researches, 6 invited and 6 selected based on their submitted abstracts, presented their work.

A total of 49 posters were presented during the two evening poster sessions. The 5th XLIC Management Committee meeting also took place during the meeting.

From scientific point of view this meeting was very successful. It represented a very fruitful combination of theoretical and experimental contributions giving the 87 participants from 23 countries a chance to engage in fruitful discussions on their results and scientific ideas possibly leading to new projects and collaborations.

Final program of the meeting and book of abstracts can be downloaded following the links below.

The Local Organiser,
Miroslav Polášek
J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry of the CAS. Prague, Czech Republic

and Local organizing committee:
Věra Křížová
Ján Žabka
Illia Zymak
Ján Sabó
Michaela Obluková
Miroslava Bittová (webmaster)

Related links:


The International school on “The Frontiers of Attosecond and Ultrafast X-ray Science” was held from 19th to 28th March 2017 in Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture, Erice, Sicily, Italy: The School was organized by Louis Di Mauro, Alicja Domaracka and Mauro Nisoli.

The main topics of the School were dedicated to attosecond science (generation and application of attosecond pulses to the investigation of electronic dynamics in atoms, molecules, nanostructures and condensed phases) and  fundamentals, methods and applications of free electron lasers, synchrotron radiation, ion collisions in atomic and molecular science. The school hosted 76 trainees and 21 lecturers form 9 countries who gave 53 hours of teaching.

During coffees breaks participants presented their research in the form of posters. Scientific discussions took place till late nights during evening parties and during two half-day excursions.

The webpage of the School can be found at this address:
The final program of the school can be found below.

The Local Organiser,

Prof. Mauro Nisoli
Physics Department, Politecnico di Milano

Related links:


Pierre Agostini, The Ohio State University (USA)
Anne L’Huillier, Lund University (Sweden)
Zenghu Chang, University of Central Florida (USA)
Katalin Varju, ELI-Hu (Hungary)
Phil Bucksbaum, Stanford University (USA)
Ken Schafer, Louisiana State University (USA)
Luca Poletto, IFN-CNR, Padova (Italy)
Dimitris Charalambidis, FORTH, Heraklion (Greece)
Paul Corkum, NRC-CNRC Ottawa (Canada)
Louis DiMauro, The Ohio State University (USA)
Mauro Nisoli, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Sergio Martellucci, Università degli Studi di Roma, TorVergata (Italy)
Jon Marangos, Imperial College (UK)
Fernando Martin, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)
Reinhard Kienberger, Technical University, Munich (Germany)
Kevin Prince, Elettra Sincrotrone, Trieste (Italy)
Thomas Schlatholter, University of Groningen (Germany)
Patrick Rousseau, Universite de Caen Normandie (France)
Paola Bolognesi, ISM-CNR (Italy)
Lorenzo Avaldi, ISM-CNR (Italy)
Ottmar Jagutzki, RoentDek (Germany)
Henning Schmidt, Stockholm University (Sweden)
Alicja Domaracka (+80), CNRS-CIMAP (France)
Antonella Cartoni, La Sapienza, Roma (Italy)


Nicola Fabris, CNR – IFN Padova (Italy) (Italy)
Victor Despré, Heidelberg Universität (Germany)
Paolo Miotti, CNR-IFN (Italy)
Manuel de Anda Villa, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (France)
Hampus Wikmark, Lund University, Division of Atomic Physics (Sweden)
Vincent Wanie, INRS-ÉMT/Politecnico di Milano (Italy/Canada)
Alessandro D’Elia, CNR-IOM, University of Trieste (Italy)
Jan Vabek, ELI-Beamlines; Czech Technical University in Prague – Faculty of Nuclear Science and Physical Engineering (Czech Rep.)
Mateja Hrast, Jozef Stefan Institute (Germany)
Alexander Galstyan, Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
Caoimhe Bond, Queen’s University Belfast (UK)
Samuel Jenkins, Royal Holloway, University of London (UK)
Emmanouil Kechaoglou, Department of Physics, University of Ioannina (Greece)
Neven Ibrakovic, Lund University, Division of Atomic Physics (Sweden)
Biagio Frusteri, Dipartimento di Fisica e Chimica, Università degli studi di Palermo, via Archirafi 36, 90123, Palermo (Italy)
Chao Luan, Max-Born-Institute, Berlin (Germany)
Leon Petersson, Univerisidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)
Sara Mikaelsson, Lund University (Sweden)
Hélène Coudert-Alteirac, Lund University (Sweden)
Andreas Rubisch, MPI PKS, Dresden (Germany) (Germany)
Ioannis Makos, Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas, Heraklion (Greece)
Ioannis Orfanos, Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas, Heraklion (Greece)
Stefanos Chatziathanasiou, FORTH IESL (Greece )
Sudipta Mondal, ELI-ALPS (Hungary)
Lana Neoricic, Lund University (Sweden)
Allan Bildè, LSI, Ecole Polytechnique (France)
Andrej Bunjac, Institute of Physics, Belgrade (Serbia)
Nicola Mayer, Max Born Institut – Berlin (Germany)
Bang Hai, Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. & University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)
Min Zhang, Institution of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences & University of Chinese academy of Sciences (China)
Mario Murari, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Giacinto Davide Lucarelli, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Adam Summers, Kansas State University (USA)
Toby Barnard, Imperial College London (UK)
Sankhabrata Chandra, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India (India)
Daniele Toffoli, Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e Farmaceutiche, Università di Trieste (Italy)
Hicham Agueny, Department of Physics and technology, University of Bergen (Norway)
Ola Hassouneh, University of Jordan (UK)
Eithiraj Rajagopal Dashinamoorthy, Department of Physics, School of Advanced Sciences, VIT University, Vellore 632 014, India. (India)
Jordan O’Neal, Stanford University (USA)
Aditya Pusala, Department of Physics at Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Prabhash Prasannan Geetha, CNR-IFN Milano (Italy)
Timothy Gorman, The Ohio State University (USA)
Sebastian Jarosch, Imperial College London (UK)
Lorenz Drescher, Max-Born-Institut (Germany)
Alireza Honarfar, (Sweden)
Timothy Scarborough, The Ohio State University (USA)
Mekha Vimal, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India (India)
Dominik Franz, CEA Saclay (France)
Somnath Biswas, The Ohio State University (USA)
Andrew Chew, University of Central Florida (USA)
Sanjay Khatri, University of Virginia (USA)
Jakub Husek, The Ohio State University (USA)
Rana Nicolas, Commesariat a l’energie atomic LIDYL (France)
Zhonghui Nie, School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Nanjing University (China)
Yujiao Jiang, Institute of Physics, CAS (China)
Dmitry Zimin, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching/Munich) (Germany)
Giovanni Cirmi, DESY/CFEL (Germany)
Douglas Garratt, Laser Consortium, Imperial College London (UK)
Christian Brahms, Imperial College London (UK)
Satya Sainadh Undurti, Australian Attosecond Science Facility, Griffith University (Australia)
Constant Schouder, Aarhus University (Denmark)
Kevin Buehlmann, ETH Zuerich, Laboratory for Solid State Physics (Switzerland)
David Foote, University of Maryland (USA)
Farshad Shobeiry, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik Heidelberg (Germany)
Sofia Botsi, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik Heidelberg (Germany)
Gregory Smith, The Ohio State University (USA)
Stephen Hageman, The Ohio State University (USA)
Shaked Rozen, Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel)
Jacopo Chiarinelli, RomaTre University of Rome and CNR-ISM (Italy)
Shashank Pathak, James R. MacDonald Laboratory. Kansas State University (USA)
David Busto, Lund University (Sweden)
Luca Pedrelli, ETH Zürich (Switzerland)
Nadja Hartmann, ETH Zürich (Switzerland)
Ketan Sharma, Ohio State University (USA)
Andrew Piper, Ohio State University (USA)
Xiang Li, Kansas State University (USA)
Balram Kaderiya, James R. Macdonald Lab., Department of Physics, Kansas State University (USA)
Federico Branchi, Max-Born-Institute Berlin (Germany)
Kristian Boroz, TU Berlin (Germany)
Jaco FUCHS (Germany)
Huseyin CANKA YA (Germany)
Severt Travis (USA)
Sigi LI (USA)
Joseph DURIS (USA)


The last issue of the XLIC Newsletter will appear next month!

We would like you to send us your contributions; it may be for example recent publications, short scientific highlights, information on instrumentation, other events in your institutions, available positions (post-doc, PhD) etc.

It would be great to receive this information (  by the 31th March 2017.

Alicja Domaracka

CM1204 Action Dissemination Manager

&Young Scientists Coordinator

The scientific programme of the next XLIC General Meeting has already been setled and can be downloaded here: XLIC_GM_2017-ScientificProgram (last minute changes should be checked in the meeting website

The list of young researchers selected for an oral contribution during the 3rd Young Scientist Forum (YSF) – a special half-day with talks given by young researchers (PhD students and post-docs), is:

  • Filippo Campi, Lund University (Sweden)
    Towards XUV-XUV pump-probe experiments with attosecond pulses at the Lund Laser Centre
  • Milos Rankovic, Institute of Physics Belgrade (Serbia)
    Photodissociation of hydrated peptide by synchrotron radiation in the VUV region
  • Kristina Isaković, University of Kragujevac (Serbia)
    K-2V process in function of LEE energy distribution
  • Gediminas Galinis, Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
    Towards sub-fs time resolved soft X-ray spectroscopy in liquids
  • Samuel Jenkins, University of London (United Kingdom)
    Momentum maps for atoms in intense elliptically polarised fields
  • Carlos Marante, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)
    Angular dependence of resonant photoemission time delays in noble gases
  • Linda Giacomozzi, Stockholm University (Sweden)
    Knockout processes in meso-Tetraphenylporphyrin cations
  • Alexander Galstyan, Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
    TDDFT alternative for molecules
  • Arkadiusz Mika, CIMAP/Ganil (Caen) (France)
    Experimental study of the interaction of ions with nano-particles for sizes up to 10 nm
  • Sylwia Stefanowska, Gdańsk University of Technology (Poland)
    Total cross section for electron scattering on hydrocarbons – role of methylation
  • Marta Tarkanovskaja, University of Tartu (Estonia)
    Photoinduced fragmentation of acetamide clusters studied by mass spectroscop
  • Alexander Kaiser, University of Innsbruck (Austria)
    Serine octamer revisited: Homochiral preferences and fragmentation

If not selected as speaker, young researchers participating in the XLIC General Meeting will have an opportunity to present their results as a poster.

Feb 01


The scientific workshop: “Massive Computation for Ultrafast Molecular Breaking” (MACUMB 2017) will be held in the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) on 25th and 26th of May 2017.

The scientific program ( includes ten invited talks that will be combined with two 3-hours practical sessions in computer rooms. We aim to bring together developers of the state-of-the-art scientific software in the field of quantum chemistry and molecular physics.

Registration is already open and closes on May 15th, 2017. The registration for the meeting is free for all participants.

You can find detailed information at

Alicia Palacios, Sergio Díaz-Tendero and Jesús González-Vázquez
Departamento de Química, Facultad de Ciencias
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


The 3rd Young Scientist Forum (YSF) of XLIC Action – a special half-day with talks given by young researchers (PhD students and post-docs) will take place in Prague (CZ) on March 2017 as a part of the 4th and final XLIC Action General Meeting (COST Acton CM1204, 14-16 March 2017).

Young Scientist Forum will include 12 lectures, out of which 6 oral contributions will be chosen by YSF committee based on submitted abstracts. The deadline for abstract submission for YSF is 31st January 2017.

Applicants asking for the talk at YSF are also required to submit a short CV which is to be emailed to Abstracts submitted after the deadline will not be considered for the selection. For more details see and You can also contact A. Domaracka (

Please note that, selected YSF speakers can ask for financial support from XLIC COST Action.

Spectroscopy has taught us how the very precise measurement of resonance lineshapes gives insight into the structure of matter. However, as a time-integrated measurement, the spectral lines give only indirect information on the underlying electronic dynamics. The resonance width can be related to the timescale of the electronic excitation and relaxation, but, in the general case, this is not enough for accessing the details of the full dynamics that have to be recovered from advanced modeling. A typical case is the one of autoionizing resonances, where the system (atom, molecule, nanostructure) can be ionized either directly to the continuum or be trapped in a very excited state for a very short time (femtosecond) before reaching the continuum. The interference between the two channels results in an asymmetric lineshape, called Fano profile after the Italian theoretician Ugo Fano who first modeled this process. While the Fano profile has been extremely successful in analyzing the absorption lines measured in a wide variety of systems, the details on how the process unwraps in time have remained elusive, the ultrashort timescale at stake precluding direct time-domain investigations.

In the November 11 issue of Science magazine, two articles tackle the problem of watching the buildup of the helium 2s2p Fano resonance from two different perspectives: from the ‘inside’ and from the ‘outside’.

In the article entitled “Observing the ultrafast buildup of a Fano resonance in the time domain” (DOI: 10.1126/science.aah6972), experimental physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK, Heidelberg), together with theoretical physicists at the Vienna University of Technology and the Kansas State University look at the autoionizing process from ‘inside’ the atom by measuring the time-dependent dipole response in transient absorption spectroscopy. The dipole response being determined by the electron dynamics close to the nucleus, it provides a detailed picture of what takes place ‘inside’ the atom undergoing autoionization. In this work, short bursts of XUV light around 60.15 eV trigger the dynamic buildup of the Fano resonance by inducing an oscillating dipole moment, which in turn gives rise to the optical dipole response of the transition. A time-delayed ultrashort infrared pulse is then used to strong-field ionize the system, interrupting the autoionization process. The measured time-gated dipole response shows how the absorption lineshape evolves from an initially broad distribution to the characteristically ‘narrow’ converged Fano profile.

In the article “Attosecond dynamics through a Fano resonance: Monitoring the birth of a photoelectron” (DOI: 10.1126/science.aah5188), another team composed of experimental physicists from the CEA-CNRS-Université Paris-Saclay (CEA-Saclay) and theoretical chemists and physicists at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC-Paris) and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid look at the autoionizing process from ‘outside’ the atom by measuring the time-dependent outgoing wavepacket, i.e. by probing the photoelectron itself. Using spectrally resolved electron interferometry, they could measure the spectral amplitude and phase of the resonant wave packet. In this scheme, replicas obtained by perturbative two-photon transitions interfere with reference wave packets that are formed through smooth continua, allowing the full temporal reconstruction, purely from experimental data, of the resonant wave packet released in the continuum. In turn, this allows resolving the ultrafast buildup of the autoionizing resonance, revealing the decomposition of the process in two nearly consecutive steps governed by fairly different time scales: during the first 3 fs, the direct ionization channel dominates; then, the resonant path starts contributing as the doubly excited state decays in the continuum, resulting in interferences between the two channels that ultimately shape the celebrated Fano profile.

These two complementary studies illustrate the large potential of the diverse techniques developed in attosecond spectroscopy: detection of photons or electrons, time-domain versus frequency-domain measurements, strong-field vs. perturbative regime. They open multiple opportunities for studying ultrafast strongly correlated dynamics in a variety of systems, from molecules and nanostructures to surfaces, and controlling matter changes at a most fundamental level.

(left) Absorption spectra measured for a series of XUV-IR delays from 6 to 32 fs (from DOI: 10.1126/science.aah6972).
(right) Experimentally-retrieved photoelectron spectrum for accumulation times from -10 to 20 fs (step=1fs) (from DOI: 10.1126/science.aah5188)

Richard Taieb, UPMC (
Thomas Pfeifer (

STSM by Patrick Rousseau, Université de Caen Normandie FRT) with Per Johnsson, Lund University (SE)
On July 29, 2016 (9 days)

XUV attosecond ionisation of ferrocene: fragmentation and charge dynamics

How charge and energy redistribute in a complex molecular system? What are timescales of subsequent electronic and nuclear dynamics? These questions are the main topics of the present STSM.

In the Lund Laser Centre, in collaboration with the group of Per Johnsson, we have investigated the ionisation of ferrocene by XUV attosecond pulse trains (APTs). This organometallic molecule [Fe(C5H5)2] is formed by an iron atom in sandwich between two aromatic rings. During this one week STSM, we successfully obtained results on the ionisation/fragmentation of the ferrocene which paved the way for a next experimental campaign on time-resolved measurements.

We have measured the fragmentation mass spectra following the ionisation by XUV APT. The molecular fragmentation is reduced as shown by the intense peak of intact molecule. Moreover due to the photon energy a good signal of the intact molecular dication is also observed. Covariance measurements have been also obtained and their analysis is under progress. Together with fragmentation patterns, the obtained results during this STSM will allow to select some decay channels to be specifically studied using XUV pump-XUV probe time resolved technique.

COST Action CM1204 (XLIC) will end on April 30th, 2017, but you can still participate in the last Action activities and take the opportunity to move forward in your joint research activities by performing the last short research missions (STSM).

If you need XLIC support to fund these missions, you can find information on how to apply here. Please, note that missions should be performed withing the Action lifetime and the deadline to apply is March 15, 2017.

Infromation on the last activities co-organised by XLIC Action can be found in the links below:

  • XLIC Experimental Training School: “The frontiers of attosecond and ultrafast X-ray science”. March 19-28, 2017
    Directors: Louis Di Mauro, Alicja Domaracka, Mauro Nisoli, Sergio Martellucci
    External meeting website
    Ettore Majorana International Centre (Erice, Sicily, Italy)
  • 4th XLIC General Meeting. March 14-16, 2017
    (Prague, Czech Republic)
    LO: Miroslav Polasek
    External meeting website
  • WG1 & WG2 Expert Meeting “From Ultrafast to Ultraslow Dynamics in Molecules and Clusters”. Jan 23-25, 2017
    Weizmann Institute of Science (Rehovot, Israel)
    LO: Oded Heber
    External meeting website