Controlled few-cycle light waveforms find numerous applications in attosecond science, most notably the production of isolated attosecond pulses in the XUV spectral region 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 the generation of attosecond pulses with extreme brightness from relativistic plasma mirrors. Hollow-fiber compressors are widely used to produce few-cycle pulses with excellent spatiotemporal quality, whereby octave-spanning broadened spectra can be temporally compressed to near-single-cycle duration. In order to scale up the peak power of hollow-fiber compressors, the effective length and area mode of the fiber has to be increased proportionally, thereby requiring the use of longer waveguides with larger apertures. Thanks to an innovative design utilizing stretched flexible capillaries, we show that a stretched hollow-fiber compressor can generate pulses of TW peak power, the duration of which can be continuously tuned from the input seed laser pulse duration down to almost a single cycle (3.5fs at 750nm central wavelength) simply by increasing the gas pressure at the fiber end. The pulses are characterized online using an integrated d-scan device directly under vacuum. While the pulse duration and chirp are tuned, all other pulse characteristics, such as energy, pointing stability and focal distribution remain the same on target. This unique device makes it possible to explore the generation of high-energy attosecond XUV pulses from plasma mirrors using controllable relativistic-intensity light waveforms at 1kHz.
Frederik Böhle, Andreas Blumenstein, Maïmouna Bocoum, Aline Vernier, Magali Lozano, Jean-Philippe Rousseau, Aurélie Jullien, Dominykas Gustas, Diego Guénot, Jérôme Faure, Máté Kovács, Martin Kretschmar, Peter Simon, Uwe Morgner, Tamás Nagy, and Rodrigo López-Martens, "Relativistic-intensity near-single-cycle laser system at 1 kHz (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10511, Solid State Lasers XXVII: Technology and Devices, 105111A (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 31, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2289088.5751370164001.
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