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Proceedings Paper

Mapping of attosecond ionization dynamics by recollision-free higher-order harmonic generation
Author(s): Aart J. Verhoef; Alexander Mitrofanov; Evgenii E. Serebryannikov; Daniil V. Kartashov; Aleksei M. Zheltikov; Andrius Baltuska
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Paper Abstract

In the presence of a high-intensity optical field, electrons are released from atoms on an attosecond time scale. Moreover, in the tunnelling regime, this process displays a strong sensitivity to the carrier-envelope phase (CEP) of a few-cycle light pulse. Tunnelling ionization - a fascinating quantum mechanical phenomenon - leads to a quasi-stepwise increase of free electron density and, as a consequence, of the refractive index of the medium. These steps of the refractive index, corresponding to half-cycles of the driving optical field, impose a transient attosecond phase mask. By scattering probe light off this mask we detect quasi-periodic higher-order harmonics, the spectrum of which, unlike that of the harmonics originating from intrinsic nonlinearity or driven by electron re-collisions, do not depend on the probe intensity and recollision dynamics. The implemented noncollinear pump-probe experimental technique allows optical harmonics generated due to a tunnelling-ionization-induced modulation of the electric current to be spatially separated from the harmonics originating from atomic and ionic nonlinear susceptibilities, enabling background-free time-resolved detection of electron-tunnelling-controlled harmonic spectra and offering an attractive solution for attosecond optical metrology of gases and bulk solids.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 May 2009
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7354, Nonlinear Optics and Applications III, 73540U (21 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.823475
Show Author Affiliations
Aart J. Verhoef, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)
Alexander Mitrofanov, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)
Evgenii E. Serebryannikov, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State Univ. (Russian Federation)
Daniil V. Kartashov, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)
Aleksei M. Zheltikov, Lomonosov Moscow State Univ. (Russian Federation)
Andrius Baltuska, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7354:
Nonlinear Optics and Applications III
Mario Bertolotti, Editor(s)

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