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Journal Articles Nature Photonics Year : 2012

Attosecond lighthouses from plasma mirrors

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The nonlinear interaction of an intense femtosecond laser pulse with matter can lead to the emission of a train of sub-laser-cycle--attosecond--bursts of short-wavelength radiation1, 2. Much effort has been devoted to producing isolated attosecond pulses, as these are better suited to real-time imaging of fundamental electronic processes3, 4, 5, 6. Successful methods developed so far rely on confining the nonlinear interaction to a single sub-cycle event7, 8, 9. Here, we demonstrate for the first time a simpler and more universal approach to this problem10, applied to nonlinear laser-plasma interactions. By rotating the instantaneous wavefront direction of an intense few-cycle laser field11, 12 as it interacts with a solid-density plasma, we separate the nonlinearly generated attosecond pulse train into multiple beams of isolated attosecond pulses propagating in different and controlled directions away from the plasma surface. This unique method produces a manifold of isolated attosecond pulses, ideally synchronized for initiating and probing ultrafast electron motion in matter.
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cea-00853630 , version 1 (23-08-2013)



Jonathan A. Wheeler, Antonin Borot, Sylvain Monchocé, Henri Vincenti, Aurélien Ricci, et al.. Attosecond lighthouses from plasma mirrors. Nature Photonics, 2012, 6, pp.829-833. ⟨10.1038/nphoton.2012.284⟩. ⟨cea-00853630⟩
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