Abstract: Above-threshold ionization spectra from cesium are measured as a function of the carrier-envelope phase (CEP) using laser pulses centered at 3.1 μm wavelength. The directional asymmetry in the energy spectra of backscattered electrons oscillates three times, rather than once, as the CEP is changed from 0 to 2π. Using the improved strong-field approximation, we show that the unusual behavior arises from the interference of few quantum orbits. We discuss the conditions for observing the high-order CEP dependence, and draw an analogy with time-domain holography with electron wave packets.
Abstract: High-harmonic generation (HHG) in crystals offers a simple, affordable and easily accessible route to carrier-envelope phase (CEP) measurements, which scales favorably towards longer wavelengths. We present measurements of HHG in ZnO using few-cycle pulses at 3.1 µm. Thanks to the broad bandwidth of the driving laser pulses, spectral overlap between adjacent harmonic orders is achieved. The resulting spectral interference pattern provides access to the relative harmonic phase, and hence, the CEP.
Abstract: The spatially dependent phase distribution of focused few-cycle pulses, i.e., the focal phase, is much more complex than the well-known Gouy phase of monochromatic beams. As the focal phase is imprinted on the carrier-envelope phase (CEP), for accurate modeling and interpretation of CEP-dependent few-cycle laser-matter interactions, both the coupled spatially dependent phase and intensity distributions must be taken into account. In this Letter, we demonstrate the significance of the focal phase effect via comparison of measurements and simulations of CEP-dependent photoelectron spectra. Moreover, we demonstrate the impact of this effect on few-cycle light-matter interactions as a function of their nonlinear intensity dependence to answer the general question: if, when, and how much should one be concerned about the focal phase?
Abstract: We present a carrier-envelope phase (CEP)-stable Yb-doped fiber laser system delivering 100 µJ few-cycle pulses at a repetition rate of 100 kHz. The CEP stability of the system when seeded by a carrier-envelope offset-locked oscillator is 360 mrad, as measured pulse-to-pulse with a stereographic above-threshold ionization (stereo-ATI) phase meter. Slow CEP fluctuations have been suppressed by implementing a feedback loop from the phase meter to the pulse picking acousto-optic modulator. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest CEP stability achieved to date with a fiber-based, high-power few-cycle laser.
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Physikalisch-Astronomische Fakultät (2019)
Abstract: This work investigates light-driven electron re-scattering from atomic gases and metal nanotips in focused few-cycle laser pulses. In particular, the work concentrates on the investigation of the evolution of the electric ﬁeld of few-cycle pulses during focussing. Electrons emitted from a Tungsten nanotip are used to probe the electric ﬁeld. With this insight the diﬀerences between the noble gas Xenon and nanotips made of Tungsten and Gold can be understood.
To measure such fast processes, ultra-short laser pulses consisting of merely a few optical cycles (<2) are employed. When dealing with pulses as short as this, the relative position between the optical carrier wave and envelope becomes important. This value is called the carrier-envelope phase and is responsible for how the re-scattering takes place. Having control over this phase means being able to control the re-scattering process. As determining this value at the site of interaction is extremely diﬃcult, measurements have been almost exclusively determining the “relative” carrier-envelope phase dependence, i.e. the eﬀects of the change in carrier-envelope phase without an absolute reference. As examination of the phenomena investigated herein requires a knowledge of the “absolute” carrier-envelope phase, a method for determining this value is proposed and implemented. To this end, the phase dependencies of the photo-electron spectra of Xenon are compared to those of atomic Hydrogen, which can in turn be calibrated with ab initio calculations. This insight makes it possible to use the relatively easy determination of the carrier-envelope phase dependence of Xe-spectra as a ruler in other measurements. For instance, further photo electron spectra of Argon and Krypton are shown.
Because the carrier-envelope phase shifts through the focus it is necessary to know these changes in order to understand local interactions. The metal nanotip, being an extremely localized electron emitter, serves splendidly as a tool to quantify the focussing of the electric ﬁeld of few-cycle pulses. For the ﬁrst time the carrier-envelope phase of a wide range of the focus, both on and oﬀ axis, was scanned without complications from volume averaging. Signiﬁcant deviations from the often assumed arcustangent-shaped evolution described previously by Gouy on the optical axis for the monochromatic case were observed. The behaviour is well reproduced with an analytic model calculated by Porras and can be drawn back to the spectral geometry of the laser beam, which can be easily accessed experimentally and used for a coarse estimation of the focusing properties. The insight into the relationship between input beam properties and focussing behaviour allows for better interpretation and design of light-matter interactions in the future.
Here, this technique is utilised to compare the absolute carrier-envelope phase dependence of electron re-scattering at metal nanotips, i.e. Tungsten and Gold, and in Noble gasses. We ﬁnd that the observed shift can be attributed to the shape of the ionization potential of the diﬀerent species and that in case of the nanotips the optical near-ﬁeld due to the geometry of the tip causes an additional phase shift.
Abstract: With the emergence of high-repetition-rate few-cycle laser pulse amplifiers aimed at investigating ultrafast dynamics in atomic, molecular, and solid-state science, the need for ever faster carrier-envelope phase (CEP) detection and control has arisen. Here we demonstrate a high-speed, continuous, every-single-shot measurement and fast feedback scheme based on a stereo above-threshold ionization time-of-flight spectrometer capable of detecting the CEP and pulse duration at a repetition rate of up to 400 kHz. This scheme is applied to a 100 kHz optical parametric chirped pulse amplification few-cycle laser system, demonstrating improved CEP stabilization and allowing for CEP tagging.
Abstract: The spatial evolution of the electric field of focused broadband light is crucial for many emerging attosecond technologies. Here the effects of the input beam parameters on the evolution of few-cycle laser pulses in the focus are discussed. Specifically, we detail how the frequency-dependent input beam geometry, chirp and chromatic aberration can affect the spatial dependence of the carrier-envelope phase (CEP), central frequency and pulse duration in the focus. These effects are confirmed by a direct, three-dimensional measurement of the CEP-evolution in the focus of a typical few-cycle pulse laser using electron rescattering at metal nanotips in combination with a CEP-metre. Moreover, we demonstrate a simple measurement technique to estimate the focal CEP evolution by input-beam parameters. These parameters can be used in novel ways in order to control attosecond dynamics and tailor highly nonlinear light–matter interactions.
Abstract: Precise knowledge of the behaviour of the phase of light in a focused beam is fundamental to understanding and controlling laser-driven processes. More than a hundred years ago, an axial phase anomaly for focused monochromatic light beams was discovered and is now commonly known as the Gouy phase. Recent theoretical work has brought into question the validity of applying this monochromatic phase formulation to the broadband pulses becoming ubiquitous today. Based on electron backscattering at sharp nanometre-scale metal tips, a method is available to measure light fields with sub-wavelength spatial resolution and sub-optical-cycle time resolution. Here we report such a direct, three-dimensional measurement of the spatial dependence of the optical phase of a focused, 4-fs, near-infrared pulsed laser beam. The observed optical phase deviates substantially from the monochromatic Gouy phase—exhibiting a much more complex spatial dependence, both along the propagation axis and in the radial direction. In our measurements, these significant deviations are the rule and not the exception for focused, broadband laser pulses. Therefore, we expect wide ramifications for all broadband laser–matter interactions, such as in high-harmonic and attosecond pulse generation, femtochemistry, ophthalmological optical coherence tomography and light-wave electronics.
Abstract: We introduce a novel method for direct and accurate measurement of refractive index dispersion based on carrier-envelope phase detection of few-cycle laser pulses, exploiting the difference between phase and group velocity in a dispersive medium. In a layout similar to an interferometer, two carrier-envelope phasemeters are capable of measuring the dispersion of a transparent or reflective sample, where one phasemeter serves as the reference and the other records the influence of the sample. Here we report on proof-of-principle measurements that already reach relative uncertainties of a few 10^−4 . Further development is expected to allow for unprecedented precision.
Abstract: The carrier-envelope phase (CEP) dependence of few-cycle above-threshold ionization (ATI) of Xe is calibrated for use as a reference measurement for determining and controlling the absolute CEP in other interactions. This is achieved by referencing the CEP-dependent ATI measurements of Xe to measurements of atomic H, which are in turn referenced to ab initio calculations for atomic H. This allows for the accurate determination of the absolute CEP dependence of Xe ATI, which enables relatively easy determination of the offset between the relative CEP measured and/or controlled by typical devices and the absolute CEP in the interaction.