August 30, 2010

Making Intense Attosecond Laser Pulses using a Conventional Femtosecond laser system

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A new concept opens the door to creating an intense isolated attosecond pulse using a conventional femtosecond laser system.

Physical Review Letters - Infrared Two-Color Multicycle Laser Field Synthesis for Generating an Intense Attosecond Pulse

We propose and demonstrate the generation of a continuum high-order harmonic spectrum by mixing multicycle two-color (TC) laser fields with the aim of obtaining an intense isolated attosecond pulse. By optimizing the wavelength of a supplementary infrared pulse in a TC field, a continuum harmonic spectrum was created around the cutoff region without carrier-envelope phase stabilization. The obtained harmonic spectra clearly show the possibility of generating isolated attosecond pulses from a multicycle TC laser field, which is generated by an 800 nm, 30 fs pulse mixed with a 1300 nm, 40 fs pulse. Our proposed method enables us not only to relax the requirements for the pump pulse duration but also to reduce ionization of the harmonic medium. This concept opens the door to create an intense isolated attosecond pulse using a conventional femtosecond laser system

Takahashi and colleagues used a two-color laser field: a pump laser with an 800-nanometer wavelength superimposed on one of 1,300 nanometers. The combination of the two lasers allowed the generation of a higher harmonic spectrum without needing to stabilize the carrier envelope phase.

Crucially, they used conventional lasers that are readily available and inexpensive. “This novel two-color laser scheme also enables one to markedly suppress the detrimental gas target ionization,” notes Takahashi. “Consequently, not only the most appropriate phase-matching technique, but also an energy-scaling scheme, can be applied to produce intense isolated attosecond pulses.”

Takahashi also says that this method has the potential to produce isolated, attosecond, extreme-ultraviolet x-ray pulses with microjoule energy from a table-top system. He believes this would open the door to the realm of strongly nonlinear attosecond science.

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