Laser-assisted XUV double ionization of helium: Energy-sharing dependence of joint angular distributions



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By numerically solving the time-dependent Schrödinger equation in full dimensionality, we discuss the dependance of joint photoelectron angular distributions on the energy sharing of the emitted electrons for the double ionization of helium atoms by ultrashort pulses of extreme ultraviolet (XUV) radiation in coplanar emission geometry with and without the presence of a comparatively weak infrared (IR) laser pulse. For IR-laser-assisted single-XUV-photon double ionization, our joint angular distributions show that the IR-laser field enhances back-to-back electron emission and induces a characteristic splitting in the angular distribution for electrons that are emitted symmetrically relative to the identical linear polarization directions of the XUV and IR pulse. These IR-pulse-induced changes in photoelectron angular distributions are (i) imposed by different symmetry constraints for XUV-pulse-only and laser-assisted XUV double ionization, (ii) robust over a large range of energy sharings between the emitted electrons, and (iii) consistent with the transfer of discrete IR-photon momenta to both photoelectrons from the assisting IR-laser field. While selection-rule forbidden at equal energy sharing, for increasingly unequal energy sharing we find back-to-back emission to become more likely and to compete with symmetric emission.