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Review Article
A Custom-Tailored Multi-TW Optical Electric Field for Gigawatt Soft-X-Ray Isolated Attosecond Pulses
Bing Xue, Yuuki Tamaru, Yuxi Fu, Hua Yuan, Pengfei Lan, Oliver D. Mücke, Akira Suda, Katsumi Midorikawa, Eiji J. Takahashi
2021, 2021(1).   doi: 10.34133/2021/9828026

Since the first isolated attosecond pulse was demonstrated through high-order harmonics generation (HHG) in 2001, researchers’ interest in the ultrashort time region has expanded. However, one realizes a limitation for related research such as attosecond spectroscopy. The bottleneck is concluded to be the lack of a high-peak-power isolated attosecond pulse source. Therefore, currently, generating an intense attosecond pulse would be one of the highest priority goals. In this paper, we review our recent work of a TW-class parallel three-channel waveform synthesizer for generating a gigawatt-scale soft-X-ray isolated attosecond pulse (IAP) using HHG. By employing several stabilization methods, we have achieved a stable 50 mJ three-channel optical-waveform synthesizer with a peak power at the multi-TW level. This optical-waveform synthesizer is capable of creating a stable intense optical field for generating an intense continuum harmonic beam thanks to the successful stabilization of all the parameters. Furthermore, the precision control of shot-to-shot reproducible synthesized waveforms is achieved. Through the HHG process employing a loose-focusing geometry, an intense shot-to-shot stable supercontinuum (50–70 eV) is generated in an argon gas cell. This continuum spectrum supports an IAP with a transform-limited duration of 170 as and a submicrojoule pulse energy, which allows the generation of a GW-scale IAP. Another supercontinuum in the soft-X-ray region with higher photon energy of approximately 100–130 eV is also generated in neon gas from the synthesizer. The transform-limited pulse duration is 106 as. Thus, the enhancement of HHG output through optimized waveform synthesis is experimentally proved.

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Research Article
THz-Enhanced DC Ultrafast Electron Diffractometer
Dongfang Zhang, Tobias Kroh, Felix Ritzkowsky, Timm Rohwer, Moein Fakhari, Huseyin Cankaya, Anne-Laure Calendron, Nicholas H. Matlis, Franz X. Kärtner
2021, 2021(1).   doi: 10.34133/2021/9848526

Terahertz- (THz-) based electron manipulation has recently been shown to hold tremendous promise as a technology for manipulating and driving the next generation of compact ultrafast electron sources. Here, we demonstrate an ultrafast electron diffractometer with THz-driven pulse compression. The electron bunches from a conventional DC gun are compressed by a factor of 10 and reach a duration of ~180 fs (FWHM) with 10,000 electrons/pulse at a 1 kHz repetition rate. The resulting ultrafast electron source is used in a proof-of-principle experiment to probe the photoinduced dynamics of single-crystal silicon. The THz-compressed electron beams produce high-quality diffraction patterns and enable the observation of the ultrafast structural dynamics with improved time resolution. These results validate the maturity of THz-driven ultrafast electron sources for use in precision applications.

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Research Article
Ultrafast Hole Deformation Revealed by Molecular Attosecond Interferometry
Yindong Huang, Jing Zhao, Zheng Shu, Yalei Zhu, Jinlei Liu, Wenpu Dong, Xiaowei Wang, Zhihui Lü, Dongwen Zhang, Jianmin Yuan, Jing Chen, Zengxiu Zhao
2021, 2021(1).   doi: 10.34133/2021/9837107

Understanding the evolution of molecular electronic structures is the key to explore and control photochemical reactions and photobiological processes. Subjected to strong laser fields, electronic holes are formed upon ionization and evolve in the attosecond timescale. It is crucial to probe the electronic dynamics in real time with attosecond-temporal and atomic-spatial precision. Here, we present molecular attosecond interferometry that enables the in situ manipulation of holes in carbon dioxide molecules via the interferometry of the phase-locked electrons (propagating in opposite directions) of a laser-triggered rotational wave packet. The joint measurement on high-harmonic and terahertz spectroscopy (HATS) provides a unique tool for understanding electron dynamics from picoseconds to attoseconds. The optimum phases of two-color pulses for controlling the electron wave packet are precisely determined owing to the robust reference provided with the terahertz pulse generation. It is noteworthy that the contribution of HOMO-1 and HOMO-2 increases reflecting the deformation of the hole as the harmonic order increases. Our method can be applied to study hole dynamics of complex molecules and electron correlations during the strong-field process. The threefold control through molecular alignment, laser polarization, and the two-color pulse phase delay allows the precise manipulation of the transient hole paving the way for new advances in attochemistry.

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Article 12 August 2021


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