CEP-stable few-cycle light pulses find numerous applications in attosecond science, most notably the production of isolated attosecond pulses for studying ultrafast electronic processes in matter . Scaling up the pulse energy of few-cycle pulses could extend the scope of applications to even higher intensity processes, such as attosecond dynamics of relativistic plasma mirrors .
Hollow fiber compressors are widely used to produce few-cycle pulses with excellent spatiotemporal quality , where octave-spanning broadened spectra can be temporally compressed to sub-2-cycle duration [4,5]. Several tricks help increase the output energy: using circularly polarized light , applying a pressure gradient along the fiber  or even temporal multiplexing . The highest pulse energy of 5 mJ at 5 fs pulse duration was achieved by using a hollow fiber in pressure gradient mode  but in this case no CEP stabilization was achieved, which is crucial for most applications of few-cycle pulses. Nevertheless, it did show that in order to scale up the peak power, the effective length and area mode of the fiber had to be increased proportionally, thereby requiring the use of longer waveguides with larger apertures. Thanks to an innovative design utilizing stretched flexible capillaries , we recently demonstrated the generation CEP-stable sub-4fs pulses with 3mJ energy using a 2m length 450mm bore hollow fiber in pressure gradient mode .
Here, we show that a stretched hollow-fiber compressor operated in pressure gradient mode can generate relativistic intensity pulses with continuously tunable waveform down to almost a single cycle (3.5fs at 750nm central wavelength). The pulses are characterized online using an integrated d-scan device directly under vacuum . While the pulse shape is tuned, all other pulse characteristics, such as energy, pointing stability and focal distribution remain the same on target, making it possible to explore the dynamics of plasma mirrors using controllable relativistic-intensity light waveforms at 1kHz.
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Frederik Boehle, Aline Vernier, Martin Kretschmar, Aurélie Jullien, Mate Kovacs, Rosa M. Romero, Helder M. Crespo, Peter Simon, Tamas Nagy, and Rodrigo Lopez-Martens, "TW-class hollow-fiber compressor with tunable pulse duration (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10238, High-Power, High-Energy, and High-Intensity Laser Technology III, 102380R (Presented at SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics: April 27, 2017; Published: 9 June 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2265679.5463398600001.
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