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Optics Express


We compare quantum and classical models of double ionization (DI) for aligned-electron helium in strong laser fields, considering specifically the role of recollision processes in which the returning electron travels in the direction of the laser force. Quantum studies show that for the knee region in our model a small but persistent portion of the total DI occurs through these speed-up collisions. We show that classical modeling displays similar collisions and reveals that with-the-force doubly ionizing collisions typically involve two-particle trajectories in which both electrons can be said to have been bound or very nearly bound at the zero of the laser field just before the collision. Trajectories leading to the with-the-force doubly ionizing collisions can be classified into two categories-direct excitation, in which there is no unambiguous single ionization before the doubly ionizing collision, and recapture, in which an ionized electron returns to the core and is recaptured prior to the speed-up collision. Comparison of the classical and quantum situations for our laser parameters yields evidence that for our parameters the quantum system favors the direct-excitation pathway over the reattachment pathway.

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