Dr. Christoph Heyl
Abstract: This paper reports on nonlinear spectral broadening of 1.1ps pulses in a gas-filled multi-pass cell to generate sub-100fs optical pulses at 1030nm and 515nm at pulse energies of 0.8mJ and 225\textdollar µ \textdollar J, respectively, for pump--probe experiments at the free-electron laser FLASH. Combining a 100kHz Yb:YAG laser with\textasciitilde 180W in-burst average power and a post-compression platform enables reaching simultaneously high average powers and short pulse durations for high-repetition-rate FEL pump--probe experiments.
Abstract: We present a flexible all-polarization-maintaining (PM) mode-locked ytterbium (Yb):fiber laser based on a nonlinear amplifying loop mirror (NALM). In addition to providing detailed design considerations, we discuss the different operation regimes accessible by this versatile laser architecture and experimentally analyze five representative mode-locking states. These five states were obtained in a 78-MHz configuration at different intracavity group delay dispersion (GDD) values ranging from anomalous (-0.035 ps2) to normal (+0.015 ps2). We put a particular focus on the characterization of the intensity noise as well as the free-running linewidth of the carrier-envelope-offset (CEO) frequency as a function of the different operation regimes. We observe that operation points far from the spontaneous emission peak of Yb (~1030 nm) and close to zero intracavity dispersion can be found, where the influence of pump noise is strongly suppressed. For such an operation point, we show that a CEO linewidth of less than 10-kHz at 1 s integration can be obtained without any active stabilization.
Abstract: With the advent of ultrafast Yb-ion based disk, slab and fibre lasers, nonlinear pulse compression methods became indispensable for the generation of high average power sub-100 fs pulses. In particular, spectral broadening in Herriott-type multi-pass cells (MPC) has been established as a novel tool for pulse compression in the 5 – 100 MW peak power range where neither solid-core fibre nor hollow-core capillaries work efficiently. The operation in the critical self-focusing regime becomes feasible through repetitive refocusing of the cell mirrors. Analogously, the multi-plate approach , which has mainly been used for broadband continuum generation, relies on the nonlinear refocusing of the Kerr media . By introducing the hybridization of both methods, we demonstrate compression factors up to 14. To the best of our knowledge this exceeds all single-stage compression factors achieved with bulk-based spectral broadening to date.
Abstract: Ultrafast measurements in the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) spectral region targeting femtosecond timescales rely until today on two complementary XUV laser sources: free electron lasers (FELs) and high-harmonic generation (HHG) based sources. The combination of these two source types was until recently not realized. The complementary properties of both sources including broad bandwidth, high pulse energy, narrowband tunability and femtosecond timing, open new opportunities for two-color pump-probe studies. Here we show first results from the commissioning of a high-harmonic beamline that is fully synchronized with the free-electron laser FLASH, installed at beamline FL26 with permanent end-station including a reaction microscope (REMI). An optical parametric amplifier synchronized with the FEL burst mode drives the HHG process. First commissioning tests including electron momentum measurements using REMI, demonstrate long-term stability of the HHG source over more than 14 hours. This realization of the combination of these light sources will open new opportunities for time-resolved studies targeting different science cases including core-level ionization dynamics or the electron dynamics during the transformation of a molecule within a chemical reaction probed on femtosecond timescales in the ultraviolet to soft X-ray spectral region.
Abstract: In this work, we demonstrate post-compression of 1.2 picosecond laser pulses to 13 fs via gas-based multipass spectral broadening. Our results yield a singlestage compression factor of about 40 at 200 W in-burst average power and a total compression factor >90 at reduced power. The employed scheme represents a route towards compact few-cycle sources driven by industrial-grade Yb:YAG lasers at high average power.
Abstract: We present a flexible figure-9 Yb: fiber-laser and investigate the impact of intra-cavity group delay dispersion on amplitude/phase noise. We show that the free-running carrier-envelope-offset frequency short-term linewidth can range from several MHz to <10 kHz.
Abstract: We demonstrate post-compression of 1.2 ps pulses to the few-cycle regime via multi-pass spectral broadening. We achieve compression factors of 40 via single and >90 via dual stage compression employing mJ pulses.
Abstract: We report post-compression of 1.2 ps pulses into the few-cycle regime via multi-pass spectral broadening. We achieve compression factors of 40 in single and 93 in a dual stage scheme using a compact setup.
Abstract: We present a VUV beamline installed as pump-probe source at the free-electron laser FLASH. The source is based on high-order harmonic generation driven by femtosec-ond near-infrared laser pulses synchronized with the FEL burst mode.
Abstract: We demonstrate dual-comb generation from an all-polarization-maintaining dual-color ytterbium (Yb) fiber laser. Two pulse trains with center wavelengths at 1030 nm and 1060 nm respectively are generated within the same laser cavity with a repetition rate around 77 MHz. Dual-color operation is induced using a tunable mechanical spectral filter, which cuts the gain spectrum into two spectral regions that can be independently mode-locked. Spectral overlap of the two pulse trains is achieved outside the laser cavity by amplifying the 1030-nm pulses and broadening them in a nonlinear fiber. Spatially overlapping the two arms on a simple photodiode then generates a down-converted radio frequency comb. The difference in repetition rates between the two pulse trains and hence the line spacing of the down-converted comb can easily be tuned in this setup. This feature allows for a flexible adjustment of the tradeoff between non-aliasing bandwidth vs. measurement time in spectroscopy applications. Furthermore, we show that by fine-tuning the center-wavelengths of the two pulse trains, we are able to shift the down-converted frequency comb along the radio-frequency axis. The usability of this dual-comb setup is demonstrated by measuring the transmission of two different etalons while the laser is completely free-running.
Abstract: We perform a multi-dimensional parameter scan in the generation of high-order harmonics, with the main purpose to find the macroscopic conditions that optimize the harmonic yield in a specific spectral domain, around 40 eV for this particular case. The scanned parameters are the laser pulse energy, gas pressure, interaction cell position relative to focus and the cell length, while the fixed parameters are chosen to model a loose focusing configuration which is used in many existing laboratories. We performed the simulations with a 3D non-adiabatic model complemented by a detailed analysis of the phase matching mechanisms involved in an efficient harmonic generation. Based on the results we identify a range of parameter combinations that lead to a high yield in the specified spectral domain The method and results presented here can be the framework for the design and construction of high flux high-order harmonic generation beamlines.
Abstract: We present the development of a gas nozzle providing high-density gas at elevated temperaturesinside a vacuum environment. Fused silica is used as the nozzle material to allow the placement ofthe nozzle tip in close proximity to an intense, high-power laser beam, while minimizing the risk ofsputtering nozzle tip material into the vacuum chamber. Elevating the gas temperature increases thegas-jet forward velocity, allowing us to replenish the gas volume in the laser-gas interaction regionbetween consecutive laser shots. The nozzle accommodates a 50μm opening hole from which asupersonic gas jet emerges. Heater wires are used to bring the nozzle temperature up to 730 °C, whilea cooling unit ensures that the nozzle mount and the glued nozzle-to-mount connection is kept at atemperature below 50 °C. The presented nozzle design is used for high-order harmonic generationin hot gases using gas backing pressures of up to 124 bars.
Abstract: Ultrafast processes in matter can be captured and even controlled by using sequences of few-cycle optical pulses, which need to be well characterized, both in amplitude and phase. The same degree of control has not yet been achieved for few-cycle extreme ultraviolet pulses generated by high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases, with duration in the attosecond range. Here, we show that by varying the spectral phase and carrier-envelope phase (CEP) of a high-repetition rate laser, using dispersion in glass, we achieve a high degree of control of the relative phase and CEP between consecutive attosecond pulses. The experimental results are supported by a detailed theoretical analysis based upon the semi-classical three-step model for HHG.