Peer-Review Publications


A. Willner, F. Tavella, M. Yeung, T. Dzelzainis, C. Kamperidis, M. Bakarezos, D. Adams, R. Riedel, M. Schulz, M. C. Hoffmann, W. Hu, J. Rossbach, M. Drescher, V. S. Yakovlev, N. A. Papadogiannis, M. Tatarakis, B. Dromey, and M. Zepf
Efficient control of quantum paths via dual-gas high harmonic generation
New J. Phys., 13 :113001 (November 2011)
The accurate control of the relative phase of multiple distinct sources of radiation produced by high harmonic generation is of central importance in the continued development of coherent extreme UV (XUV) and attosecond sources. Here, we present a novel approach which allows extremely accurate phase control between multiple sources of high harmonic radiation generated within the Rayleigh range of a single-femtosecond laser pulse using a dual-gas, multi-jet array. Fully ionized hydrogen acts as a purely passive medium and allows highly accurate control of the relative phase between each harmonic source. Consequently, this method allows quantum path selection and rapid signal growth via the full coherent superposition of multiple HHG sources (the so-called quasi-phase-matching). Numerical simulations elucidate the complex interplay between the distinct quantum paths observed in our proof-of-principle experiments.
N. Petridis, A. Kalinin, U. Popp, V. Gostishchev, Y. Litvinov, C. Dimopoulou, F. Nolden, M. Steck, C. Kozhuharov, D. B. Thorn, A. Gumberidze, S. Trotsenko, S. Hagmann, U. Spillmann, D. F. A. Winters, R. Dörner, T. Stöhlker, and R. E. Grisenti
Energy loss and cooling of relativistic highly charged uranium ions interacting with an internal hydrogen droplet target beam
Nucl. Instr. Meth. Phys. Res. A, 656 :1 (November 2011)
We present measurements of the energy loss of relativistic highly charged uranium ions interacting with a target beam of near-liquid density hydrogen droplets at the experimental storage ring (ESR) at GSI. Our results reveal that a liquid droplet target beam virtually behaves like a homogeneous gas jet target with respect to both energy loss and ion beam cooling. We also provide first results on ion beam cooling efficiency at high hydrogen area target densities, which are consistent with numerical estimations based on a simple model of the cooling force.
A. V. Maiorova, V. M. Shabaev, A. V. Volotka, V. A. Zaytsev, G. Plunien, and T. Stöhlker
Parity nonconservation effect in resonance recombination of polarized electrons with heavy hydrogen-like ions
J. Phys. B, 44 :225003 (November 2011)
Parity nonconservation (PNC) effect in recombination of a polarized electron with a heavy H-like ion in the case of resonance with a doubly excited state of the corresponding He-like ion is studied. It is assumed that photons of the energy corresponding to the one-photon decay of the doubly excited state into the 2 1S0 or 2 3P0 state are detected at a given angle with respect to the incident electron momentum. Calculations are performed for helium-like thorium (Z = 90) and gadolinium (Z = 64), where the 2 1^S_0 and 2 3^P_0 levels are near to cross and, therefore, the PNC effect is strongly enhanced.
L. Willingale, A. G. R. Thomas, P. M. Nilson, M.C. Kaluza, S. Bandyopadhyay, A. E. Dangor, R. G. Evans, P. Fernandes, M. G. Haines, C. Kamperidis, R. J. Kingham, S. Minardi, M. Notley, C. P. Ridgers, W. Rozmus, M. Sherlock, M. Tatarakis, M. S. Wei, Z. Najmudin, and K. Krushelnick
Proton probe measurement of fast advection of magnetic fields by hot electrons
Plasma Phys. Contr. F., 53 :124026 (November 2011)
A laser generated proton beam was used to measure the megagauss strength self-generated magnetic fields from a nanosecond laser interaction with an aluminum target. At intensities of 10^15  W cm^−2 , the significant hot electron production and strong heat fluxes result in non-local transport becoming important to describe the magnetic field dynamics. Two-dimensional implicit Vlasov–Fokker–Planck modeling shows that fast advection of the magnetic field from the focal region occurs via the Nernst effect at significantly higher velocities than the sound speed, v_N / c_s ≈ 10.
E. Seise, A. Klenke, S. Breitkopf, J. Limpert, and A. Tünnermann
88 W 0.5 mJ femtosecond laser pulses from two coherently combined fiber amplifiers
Opt. Lett., 36 :3858 (October 2011)
The generation of 0.5 mJ femtosecond laser pulses by coherent combining of two high power high energy fiber chirped-pulse amplifiers is reported. The system is running at a repetition frequency of 175 kHz producing 88 W of average power after the compressor unit. Polarizing beam splitters have been used to realize an amplifying Mach–Zehnder interferometer, which has been stabilized with a Hänsch–Couillaud measurement system. The stabilized system possesses a measured residual rms phase difference fluctuation between the two branches as low as λ/70 rad at the maximum power level. The experiment proves that coherent addition of femtosecond fiber lasers can be efficiently and reliably performed at high B-integral and considerable thermal load in the individual amplifiers.
A. Willner, F. Tavella, M. Yeung, T. Dzelzainis, C. Kamperidis, M. Bakarezos, D. Adams, M. Schulz, R. Riedel, M. C. Hoffmann, W. Hu, J. Rossbach, M. Drescher, N. A. Papadogiannis, M. Tatarakis, B. Dromey, and M. Zepf
Coherent Control of High Harmonic Generation via Dual-Gas Multijet Arrays
Phys. Rev. Lett., 107 :175002 (October 2011)
High harmonic generation (HHG) is a central driver of the rapidly growing field of ultrafast science. We present a novel quasiphase-matching (QPM) concept with a dual-gas multijet target leading, for the first time, to remarkable phase control between multiple HHG sources (>2) within the Rayleigh range. The alternating jet structure with driving and matching zones shows perfect coherent buildup for up to six QPM periods. Although not in the focus of the proof-of-principle studies presented here, we achieved competitive conversion efficiencies already in this early stage of development.
S. Khan, Y. Cheng, M. Möller, K. Zhao, B. Zhao, M. Chini, G. Paulus, and Z. Chang
Ellipticity dependence of 400 nm-driven high harmonic generation
Appl. Phys. Lett., 99 :161106 (October 2011)
We studied the dependence of high harmonic generation efficiency on the ellipticity of 400 nm driving laser pulses at 7.7 × 10^14 W/cm2 and compared it with the 800 nm driving laser under the same conditions. The measured decrease of high harmonic yield with the ellipticity of the 400 nm laser is ∼1.5 times slower that of the 800 nm, which agrees well with theoretical predictions based on a semi-classical model. The results indicate that it is feasible to use the generalized double optical gating with 400 nm lasers for extracting single attosecond pulses with high efficiency.
S. Demmler, J. Rothhardt, A. M. Heidt, A. Hartung, E. G. Rohwer, H. Bartelt, J. Limpert, and A. Tünnermann
Generation of high quality, 1.3 cycle pulses by active phase control of an octave spanning supercontinuum
Opt. Express, 19 :20151 (October 2011)
Nonlinear pulse compression based on the generation of ultra-broadband supercontinuum (SC) in an all-normal dispersion photonic crystal fiber (ANDi PCF) is demonstrated. The highly coherent and smooth octave-spanning SC spectra are generated using 6 fs, 3 nJ pulses from a Ti:Sapphire oscillator for pumping a 13 mm piece of ANDi PCF. Applying active phase control has enabled the generation of 4.5 fs pulses. Additional spectral amplitude shaping has increased the bandwidth of the SC spectra further leading to nearly transform-limited pulses with a duration of 3.64 fs, which corresponds to only 1.3 optical cycles at a central wavelength of 810 nm. This is the shortest pulse duration achieved via compression of SC spectra generated in PCF to date. Due to the high stability and the smooth spectral intensity and phase distribution of the generated SC, an excellent temporal pulse quality exhibiting a pulse contrast of 14 dB with respect to the pre- and post-pulses is achieved.
U. Zastrau, V. Hilbert, C. Brown, T. Döppner, S. Dziarzhytski, E. Förster, S. H. Glenzer, S. Göde, G. Gregori, M. Harmand, D. Hochhaus, T. Laarmann, H. J. Lee, K. -H. Meiwes-Brör, P. Neumayer, A. Przystawik, P. Radcliffe, M. Schulz, S. Skruszewicz, F. Tavella, J. Tiggesbaeumker, S. Toleikis, and T. White
In-situ determination of dispersion and resolving power in simultaneous multiple-angle XUV spectroscopy
J. Instrum., 6 :P10001 (October 2011)
We report on the simultaneous determination of non-linear dispersion functions and resolving power of three flat-field XUV grating spectrometers. A moderate-intense short-pulse infrared laser is focused onto technical aluminum which is commonly present as part of the experimental setup. In the XUV wavelength range of 10-19 nm, the spectrometers are calibrated using Al-Mg plasma emission lines. This cross-calibration is performed in-situ in the very same setup as the actual main experiment. The results are in excellent agreement with ray-tracing simulations. We show that our method allows for precise relative and absolute calibration of three different XUV spectrometers.
B. Aurand, J. Seres, V. Bagnoud, B. Ecker, D. C. Hochhaus, P. Neumayer, E. Seres, C. Spielmann, B. Zielbauer, D. Zimmer, and T. Kühl
Laser driven X-ray parametric amplification in neutral gases-a new brilliant light source in the XUV
Nucl. Instr. Meth. Phys. Res. A, 653 :130 (October 2011)
In this paper we present the experimental setup and results showing a new type of strong-field parametric amplification of high-order harmonic radiation. With a simple semi-classical model, we can identify the most important experimental parameters, the spectral range and the small signal gain in gases. Using a single stage amplifier, a small signal gain of 8000 has been obtained in argon for the spectral range of 40 - 50 eV, using 350 fs, 7 mJ pulses at 1.05 μm. An outlook for an experiment employing a double stage gas system will be given.
D. Ros, K. Cassou, B. Cros, S. Daboussi, J. Demailly, O. Guilbaud, S. Kazamias, J.-C. Lagron, G. Maynard, O. Neveu, M. Pittman, B. Zielbauer, D. Zimmer, T. Kühl, S. Lacombe, E. Porcel, M.-A. d. Penhoat, P. Zeitoun, and G. Mourou
LASERIX: An open facility for developments of EUV and soft X-ray lasers and applications—Developments of XUV sources using high power laser facilities: ILE, ELI
Nucl. Instr. Meth. Phys. Res. A, 653 :76 (October 2011)
LASERIX is a high-power laser facility leading to High-repetition-rate XUV laser pumped by Titanium:Sapphire laser. The aim of this laser facility is to offer Soft XRLs in the 30–7 nm range and auxiliary IR beam, which could also be used to produce synchronized XUV sources. In this contribution, the main results concerning both the development of XUV sources and their use for applications (irradiation of DNA samples) are presented, as well the present status and some perspectives for LASERIX.
A. Gumberidze, S. Fritzsche, S. Hagmann, C. Kozhuharov, X. Ma, M. Steck, A. Surzhykov, A. Warczak, and T. Stöhlker
Magnetic-sublevel population and alignment for the excitation of H- and He-like uranium in relativistic collisions
Phys. Rev. A, 84 :042710 (October 2011)
We have measured the alignment of the L-shell magnetic substates following the K-shell excitation of hydrogen- and helium-like uranium in relativistic collisions with a low-Z gaseous target. Within this experiment, the population distribution for the L-shell magnetic sublevels has been obtained via an angular differential study of the decay photons associated with the subsequent deexcitation process. The results show a very distinctive behavior for the H- and He-like heavy systems. In particular, for K → L excitation of He-like uranium, a considerable alignment of the L-shell levels was observed. A comparison of our experimental findings with recent rigorous relativistic predictions provides a good qualitative and a reasonable quantitative agreement, emphasizing the importance of the magnetic-interaction and many-body effects in the strong-field domain of high-Z ions.
F. Hebenstreit, R. Alkofer, and H. Gies
Particle Self-Bunching in the Schwinger Effect in Spacetime-Dependent Electric Fields
Phys. Rev. Lett., 107 :180403 (October 2011)
Nonperturbative electron-positron pair creation (the Schwinger effect) is studied based on the Dirac-Heisenberg-Wigner formalism in 1+1 dimensions. An ab initio calculation of the Schwinger effect in the presence of a simple space- and time-dependent electric field pulse is performed for the first time, allowing for the calculation of the time evolution of observable quantities such as the charge density, the particle number density or the total number of created particles. We predict a new self-bunching effect of charges in phase space due to the spatial and temporal structure of the pulse.
N. Medvedev, U. Zastrau, E. Förster, D. O. Gericke, and B. Rethfeld
Short-Time Electron Dynamics in Aluminum Excited by Femtosecond Extreme Ultraviolet Radiation
Phys. Rev. Lett., 107 :165003 (October 2011)
The femtosecond dynamics of the electrons in aluminum after an intense extreme ultraviolet pulse is investigated by Monte Carlo simulations. Transient distributions of the conduction band electrons show an almost thermalized, low-energy part and a high-energy tail. Constructing emission spectra from these data, we find excellent agreement with measurements. The radiative decay mainly reflects the colder part of the distribution, whereas the highly excited electrons dominate the bremsstrahlung spectrum. For the latter, we also find good agreement between predicted and measured energy scales.
R. J. Gray, X. H. Yuan, D. C. Carroll, C. M. Brenner, M. Coury, M. N. Quinn, O. Tresca, B. Zielbauer, B. Aurand, V. Bagnoud, J. Fils, T. Kühl, X. X. Lin, C. Li, Y. T. Li, M. Roth, D. Neely, and P. McKenna
Surface transport of energetic electrons in intense picosecond laser-foil interactions
Appl. Phys. Lett., 99 :171502 (October 2011)
The angular distribution of energetic electrons emitted from thin foil targets irradiated by intense, picosecond laser pulses is measured as a function of laser incidence angle, intensity, and polarization. Although the escaping fast electron population is found to be predominantly transported along the target surface for incidence angles ≥ 65°, in agreement with earlier work at lower intensities, rear-surface proton acceleration measurements reveal that a significant electron current is also transported longitudinally within the target, irrespective of incident angle. These findings are of interest to many applications of laser-solid interactions, including advanced schemes for inertial fusion energy.
O. Tresca, D. C. Carroll, X. H. Yuan, B. Aurand, V. Bagnoud, C. M. Brenner, M. Coury, J. Fils, R. J. Gray, T. Kühl, C. Li, Y. T. Li, X. X. Lin, M. N. Quinn, R. G. Evans, B. Zielbauer, M. Roth, D. Neely, and P. McKenna
Controlling the properties of ultraintense laser–proton sources using transverse refluxing of hot electrons in shaped mass-limited targets
Plasma Phys. Contr. F., 53 :105008 (September 2011)
We report on the transverse refluxing of energetic electrons in mass-limited foil targets irradiated with high intensity (1 × 10^19  W cm^−2), picosecond laser pulses. It is shown experimentally that the maximum energies of protons accelerated by sheath fields formed at the rear and at the edges of the target increase with decreasing target size. This is due to the modification of the sheath field by the energetic electrons which spread laterally along the target surface and reflect from the edges. In addition, it is shown that this transverse refluxing of energetic electrons can be used to tailor the spatial-intensity distribution of the proton beam by engineering the shape and size of the target.
C. Jocher, C. Jauregui, C. Voigtländer, F. Stutzki, S. Nolte, J. Limpert, and A. Tünnermann
Fiber based polarization filter for radially and azimuthally polarized light
Opt. Express, 19 :19582 (September 2011)
We demonstrate a new fiber based concept to filter azimuthally or radially polarized light. This concept is based on the lifting of the modal degeneracy that takes place in high numerical aperture fibers. In such fibers, the radially and azimuthally polarized modes can be spectrally separated using a fiber Bragg grating. As a proof of principle, we filter azimuthally polarized light in a commercially available fiber in which a fiber Bragg grating has been written by a femtosecond pulsed laser.
S. Hädrich, M. Krebs, J. Rothhardt, H. Carstens, S. Demmler, J. Limpert, and A. Tünnermann
Generation of µW level plateau harmonics at high repetition rate
Opt. Express, 19 :19374 (September 2011)
The process of high harmonic generation allows for coherent transfer of infrared laser light to the extreme ultraviolet spectral range opening a variety of applications. The low conversion efficiency of this process calls for optimization or higher repetition rate intense ultrashort pulse lasers. Here we present state-of-the-art fiber laser systems for the generation of high harmonics up to 1 MHz repetition rate. We perform measurements of the average power with a calibrated spectrometer and achieved µW harmonics between 45 nm and 61 nm (H23-H17) at a repetition rate of 50 kHz. Additionally, we show the potential for few-cycle pulses at high average power and repetition rate that may enable water-window harmonics at unprecedented repetition rate.
D. Adolph, A. M. Sayler, T. Rathje, K. Rühle, and G.G. Paulus
Improved carrier-envelope phase locking of intense few-cycle laser pulses using above-threshold ionization
Opt. Lett., 36 :3639 (September 2011)
A robust nonoptical carrier-envelope phase (CEP) locking feedback loop, which utilizes a measurement of the left–right asymmetry in the above-threshold ionization (ATI) of Xe, is implemented, resulting in a significant improvement over the standard slow-loop f-to-2f technique. This technique utilizes the floating average of a real-time, every-single-shot CEP measurement to stabilize the CEP of few-cycle laser pulses generated by a standard Ti:sapphire chirped-pulse amplified laser system using a hollow-core fiber and chirped mirror compression scheme. With this typical commercially available laser system and the stereographic ATI method, we are able to improve short-term (minutes) CEP stability after a hollow-core fiber from 450 to 290 mrad rms and long-term (hours) stability from 480 to 370 mrad rms.
M. Möller, A. M. Sayler, T. Rathje, M. Chini, Z. Chang, and G.G. Paulus
Precise, real-time, single-shot carrier-envelope phase measurement in the multi-cycle regime
Appl. Phys. Lett., 99 :121108 (September 2011)
Polarization gating is used to extend a real-time, single-shot, carrier-envelope phase (CEP) measurement, based on high-energy above-threshold ionization in xenon, to the multi-cycle regime. The single-shot CEP precisions achieved are better than 175 and 350 mrad for pulse durations up to 10 fs and 12.5 fs, respectively, while only 130 μJ of pulse energy are required. This opens the door to study and control of CEP-dependent phenomena in ultra-intense laser-matter interaction using optical parametric chirped pulse amplifier based tera- and petawatt class lasers.
F. Süssmann, S. Zherebtsov, J. Plenge, N. Johnson, M. Kübel, A. M. Sayler, V. Mondes, C. Graf, E. Rühl, G.G. Paulus, D. Schmischke, P. Swrschek, and M. F. Kling
Single-shot velocity-map imaging of attosecond light-field control at kilohertz rate
Rev. Sci. Instrum., 82 :093109 (September 2011)
High-speed, single-shot velocity-map imaging (VMI) is combined with carrier-envelope phase (CEP) tagging by a single-shot stereographic above-threshold ionization (ATI) phase-meter. The experimental setup provides a versatile tool for angle-resolved studies of the attosecond control of electrons in atoms, molecules, and nanostructures. Single-shot VMI at kHz repetition rate is realized with a highly sensitive megapixel complementary metal-oxide semiconductor camera omitting the need for additional image intensifiers. The developed camera software allows for efficient background suppression and the storage of up to 10^24 events for each image in real time. The approach is demonstrated by measuring the CEP-dependence of the electron emission from ATI of Xe in strong (≈ 10^13 W/cm2) near single-cycle (4 fs) laser fields. Efficient background signal suppression with the system is illustrated for the electron emission from SiO_2 nanospheres.
M. Baumgartl, B. Ortac, T. Schreiber, J. Limpert, and A. Tünnermann
Ultrashort pulse formation and evolution in mode-locked fiber lasers
Appl. Phys. B, 104 :523 (September 2011)
Passive mode-locking in fiber lasers is investigated by numerical and experimental means. A non-distributed scalar model solving the nonlinear Schrödinger equation is implemented to study the starting behavior and intra-cavity dynamics numerically. Several operation regimes at positive net-cavity dispersion are experimentally accessed and studied in different environmentally stable, linear laser configurations. In particular, pulse formation and evolution in the chirped-pulse regime at highly positive cavity dispersion is discussed. Based on the experimental results a route to highly energetic pulse solutions is shown in numerical simulations.
H. Gies, and L. Rössler
Vacuum polarization tensor in inhomogeneous magnetic fields
Phys. Rev. A, 84 :065035 (September 2011)
We develop worldline numerical methods, which combine string-inspired with Monte Carlo techniques, for the computation of the vacuum polarization tensor in inhomogeneous background fields for scalar QED. The algorithm satisfies the Ward identity exactly and operates on the level of renormalized quantities. We use the algorithm to study for the first time light propagation in a spatially varying magnetic field. Whereas a local derivative expansion applies to the limit of small variations compared to the Compton wavelength, the case of a strongly varying field can be approximated by a derivative expansion for the averaged field. For rapidly varying fields, the vacuum-magnetic refractive indices can exhibit a nonmonotonic dependence on the local field strength. This behavior can provide a natural limit on the self-focussing property of the quantum vacuum.
P. Hansinger, A. Dreischuh, and G.G. Paulus
Vortices in ultrashort laser pulses
Appl. Phys. B, 104 :561 (September 2011)
The propagation of optical vortices nested in broadband femtosecond laser beams was studied both numerically and experimentally. Based on the nonlinear Schrödinger equation, the dynamics of different multiple-vortex configurations with varying topological charge were modelled in self-focussing and self-defocussing Kerr media. We find a similar behavior in both cases regarding the vortex–vortex interaction. However, the collapsing background beam alters the propagation for a positive nonlinearity. Regimes of regular and possibly stable multiple filamentation were identified this way. Experiments include measurements on pairs of filaments generated in a vortex beam on an astigmatic Gaussian background with argon gas as the nonlinear medium. Spectral broadening of these filaments leads to a supercontinuum which spans from the visible range into the infrared. Recompression yields < 19 fs pulses. Further optimization may lead to much better recompression.
J. Bromage, J. Rothhardt, S. Hädrich, C. Dorrer, C. Jocher, S. Demmler, J. Limpert, A. Tünnermann, and J. D. Zügel
Analysis and suppression of parasitic processes in noncollinear optical parametric amplifiers
Opt. Express, 19 :16797 (August 2011)
The influence of parasitic processes on the performance of ultra-broadband noncollinear optical parametric amplifiers (NOPA’s) is investigated for walk-off and non-walk-off compensating configurations. Experimental results with a white-light–seeded NOPA agree well with numerical simulations. The same model shows that 10% of the output energy of an amplified signal can be transferred into a parasitic second harmonic of the signal. These findings are supported by quantitative measurements on a few-cycle NOPA, where a few percent of the signal energy is converted to its second harmonic in the walk-off compensating case. This effect is reduced by an order of magnitude in the non-walk-off compensating configuration. A detailed study of the phase-matching conditions of the most common nonlinear crystals provides guidelines for designing NOPA systems.