We report time-resolved electron emission in experiments on ionization of rubidium Rydberg atoms (n = 90) by few-cycle radio-frequency (RF) (1-10 MHz) pulses. The electron emission occurs in multiple bursts and strongly depends on the carrier-envelope phase as well as the duration and amplitude of the RF pulses. Remarkably, ionization is observed during a series of cycles with the same amplitude. Even at the low RF frequencies, ionization is not completed in a single cycle. Remixing of the states at the zero crossing of the field is believed to play an essential role. Similarities with the ionization process leading to high order harmonic generation are discussed.

Phys. Rev. Lett.

Gürtler, A., Robicheaux, F., Vrakking, M. J. J., van der Zande, W. J., & Noordam, L. D. (2004). Carrier phase dependence in the ionization of Rydberg atoms by short radio-frequency pulses: a model system for high order harmonic generation. Phys.Rev.Lett., 92(Article number: 63901), 1–4. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.92.063901