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Peer-Review Publications


F. Karbstein
Tadpole diagrams in constant electromagnetic fields
Journal of High Energy Physics 2017, 75 (2017)

Abstract: We show how all possible one-particle reducible tadpole diagrams in constant electromagnetic fields can be constructed from one-particle irreducible constant-field diagrams. The construction procedure is essentially algebraic and involves differentiations of the latter class of diagrams with respect to the field strength tensor and contractions with derivatives of the one-particle irreducible part of the Heisenberg-Euler effective Lagrangian in constant fields. Specific examples include the two-loop addendum to the Heisenberg-Euler effective action as well as a novel one-loop correction to the charged particle propagator in constant electromagnetic fields discovered recently. As an additional example, the approach devised in the present article is adopted to derive the tadpole contribution to the two-loop photon polarization tensor in constant fields for the first time.

S. Fuchs, M. Wünsche, J. Nathanael, J. J. Abel, C. Rödel, J. Biedermann, J. Reinhard, U. Hübner, and G. G. Paulus
Optical coherence tomography with nanoscale axial resolution using a laser-driven high-harmonic source
Optica 4, 903 (2017)

Abstract: Extreme ultraviolet microscopy is technologically demanding and thus largely confined to synchrotron radiation facilities. However, specific benefits like high resolution and exceptional material contrast provide strong motivation for the development of table-top alternatives. We report on the first demonstration of coherence tomography, i.e., noninvasive cross-sectional imaging, with high harmonics. A depth resolution of 24 nm and very good material contrast are achieved. Excessively demanding optics for extreme ultraviolet radiation are avoided and artifacts due to the elementary geometry are suppressed with a novel three-step one-dimensional phase-retrieval algorithm. The images are recorded in reflection geometry, facilitating the analysis of, e.g., operating semiconductor samples.

A. V. Malyshev, D. A. Glazov, A. V. Volotka, I. I. Tupitsyn, V. M. Shabaev, G. Plunien, and Th. Stöhlker
Ground-state ionization energies of boronlike ions
Phyical Review A 96, 022512 (2017)

Abstract: High-precision QED calculations of ground-state ionization energies are performed for all boronlike ions with nuclear charge numbers in the range 16≤Z≤96. Rigorous QED calculations are performed within the extended Furry picture and include all many-electron QED effects up to the second order of the perturbation theory. The contributions of third- and higher-order electron-correlation effects are accounted for within the Breit approximation. Nuclear recoil and nuclear polarization effects are taken into account as well. In comparison with previous evaluations of the ground-state ionization energies of boronlike ions the accuracy of the theoretical predictions is improved significantly.

F. Tavella, H. Höppner, V. Tkachenko, N. Medvedev, F. Capotondi, T. Golz, Y. Kai, M. Manfredda, E. Pedersoli, M. J. Prandolini, N. Stojanovic, T. Tanikawa, U. Teubner, S. Toleikis, and B. Ziaja
Soft x-ray induced femtosecond solid-to-solid phase transition
High Energy Density Physics 24, 22 (2017)

Abstract: Abstract Soft x-rays were applied to induce graphitization of diamond through a non-thermal solid-to-solid phase transition. This process was observed within poly-crystalline diamond with a time-resolved experiment using ultrashort soft x-ray pulses of duration 52.5 fs and cross correlated by an optical pulse of duration 32.8 fs. This scheme enabled for the first time the measurement of a phase transition on a timescale of ∼150 fs. Excellent agreement between experiment and theoretical predictions was found, using a dedicated code that followed the non-equilibrium evolution of the irradiated diamond including all transient electronic and structural changes. These observations confirm that soft x-rays can induce a non-thermal ultrafast solid-to-solid phase transition on a hundred femtosecond timescale.

P. Finetti, H. Höppner, E. Allaria, C. Callegari, F. Capotondi, P. Cinquegrana, M. Coreno, R. Cucini, M. Danailov, A. Demidovich, G. De Ninno, M. Di Fraia, R. Feifel, E. Ferrari, L. Fröhlich, D. Gauthier, T. Golz, C. Grazioli, Y. Kai, G. Kurdi, N. Mahne, M. Manfredda, N. Medvedev, I. Nikolov, E. Pedersoli, G. Penco, O. Plekan, M. Prandolini, K. Prince, L. Raimondi, P. Rebernik, R. Riedel, E. Roussel, P. Sigalotti, R. Squibb, N. Stojanovic, S. Stranges, C. Svetina, T. Tanikawa, U. Teubner, V. Tkachenko, S. Toleikis, M. Zangrando, B. Ziaja, F. Tavella, and L. Giannessi
Pulse Duration of Seeded Free-Electron Lasers
Physical Review X 7, 021043 (2017)

Abstract: The pulse duration, and, more generally, the temporal intensity profile of free-electron laser (FEL) pulses, is of utmost importance for exploring the new perspectives offered by FELs; it is a nontrivial experimental parameter that needs to be characterized. We measured the pulse shape of an extreme ultraviolet externally seeded FEL operating in high-gain harmonic generation mode. Two different methods based on the cross-correlation of the FEL pulses with an external optical laser were used. The two methods, one capable of single-shot performance, may both be implemented as online diagnostics in FEL facilities. The measurements were carried out at the seeded FEL facility FERMI. The FEL temporal pulse characteristics were measured and studied in a range of FEL wavelengths and machine settings, and they were compared to the predictions of a theoretical model. The measurements allowed a direct observation of the pulse lengthening and splitting at saturation, in agreement with the proposed theory.

J. Ullmann, Z. Andelkovic, C. Brandau, A. Dax, W. Geithner, C. Geppert, C. Gorges, M. Hammen, V. Hannen, S. Kaufmann, K. König, Y. Litvinov, M. Lochmann, B. Maaß, J. Meisner, T. Murböck, R. Sánchez, M. Schmidt, S. Schmidt, M. Steck, T. Stöhlker, R. Thompson, C. Trageser, J. Vollbrecht, C. Weinheimer, and W. Nörtershäuser
High precision hyperfine measurements in Bismuth challenge bound-state strong-field QED
Nature Communications 8, 15484 (2017)

Abstract: Electrons bound in highly charged heavy ions such as hydrogen-like bismuth 209^Bi^82+ experience electromagnetic fields that are a million times stronger than in light atoms. Measuring the wavelength of light emitted and absorbed by these ions is therefore a sensitive testing ground for quantum electrodynamical (QED) effects and especially the electron–nucleus interaction under such extreme conditions. However, insufficient knowledge of the nuclear structure has prevented a rigorous test of strong-field QED. Here we present a measurement of the so-called specific difference between the hyperfine splittings in hydrogen-like and lithium-like bismuth 209^Bi^82+,80+ with a precision that is improved by more than an order of magnitude. Even though this quantity is believed to be largely insensitive to nuclear structure and therefore the most decisive test of QED in the strong magnetic field regime, we find a 7-σ discrepancy compared with the theoretical prediction.

S. Stock, R. Beerwerth, and S. Fritzsche
Auger cascades in resonantly excited neon
Phyical Review A 95, 053407 (2017)

Abstract: The Auger cascades following the resonant 1s → np (n = 3, 4) excitation of neutral neon are studied theoretically. In contrast to previous investigations, we here model the complete cascade from the initially core-excited 1s⁻¹3p ¹P₁ and 1s⁻¹4p ¹P₁ levels of Ne up to the doubly-ionized Ne²⁺ ions. Extensive multiconfiguration Dirac-Fock (MCDF) calculations are carried out, combined with a proper cascades model, to incorporate as many decay branches as possible, including all major single-electron shake-up and shake-down processes. We simulate the electron spectra and predict shake probabilities, ion yields, as well as the relative population of the intermediate and final states. Experimentally known level energies for neutral, singly- and doubly-ionized neon are utilized whenever possible in order to improve the predictions. Most features from experiment can be reproduced with quite good agreement if a sufficiently large basis is taken into account. These simulations therefore demonstrate not only the required computational effort, but also that it is nowadays possible to predict whole Auger spectra of decay cascades, a central feature for further exploring electron coincidence maps as obtained at synchrotrons and free-electron lasers.

M. M. Günther, M. Jentschel, A. J. Pollitt, P. G. Thirolf, and M. Zepf
Refractive-index measurement of Si at γ-ray energies up to 2 MeV
Phyical Review A 95, 053864 (2017)

Abstract: The refractive index of silicon at $\ensuremath{\gamma}$-ray energies from 181 to 1959 keV was investigated using the GAMS6 double crystal spectrometer and found to follow the predictions of the classical scattering model. This is in contrast to earlier measurements on the GAMS5 spectrometer, which suggested a sign change in the refractive index for photon energies above 500 keV. We present a reevaluation of the original data from 2011 as well as data from a 2013 campaign in which we show that systematic errors due to diffraction effects of the prism can explain the earlier data.

A. I. Bondarev, Y. S. Kozhedub, I. I. Tupitsyn, V. M. Shabaev, G. Plunien, and Th. Stöhlker
Relativistic calculations of differential ionization cross sections: Application to antiproton-hydrogen collisions
Phyical Review A 95, 052709 (2017)

Abstract: A relativistic method based on the Dirac equation for calculating fully differential cross sections for ionization in ion-atom collisions is developed. The method is applied to ionization of the atomic hydrogen by antiproton impact, as a nonrelativistic benchmark. The fully differential, as well as various doubly and singly differential, cross sections for ionization are presented. The role of the interaction between the projectile and the target nucleus is discussed. Several discrepancies in available theoretical predictions are resolved. The relativistic effects are studied for ionization of hydrogenlike xenon ion under the impact of carbon nuclei.

F. Karbstein
Heisenberg-Euler effective action in slowly varying electric field inhomogeneities of Lorentzian shape
Physical Review D 95, 076015 (2017)

Abstract: We use a locally constant field approximation (LCFA) to study the one-loop Heisenberg-Euler effective action in a particular class of slowly varying inhomogeneous electric fields of Lorentzian shape with 0≤d<4 inhomogeneous directions. We show that, for these fields, the LCFA of the Heisenberg-Euler effective action can be represented in terms of a single parameter integral, with the constant field effective Lagrangian with rescaled argument as integration kernel. The imaginary part of the Heisenberg-Euler effective action contains information about the instability of the quantum vacuum towards the formation of a state with real electrons and positrons. Here, in particular, we focus on the dependence of the instantaneous vacuum decay rate on the dimension d of the field inhomogeneity. Specifically, for weak fields, we find an overall parametric suppression of the effect with (E0/Ecr)^(d/2), where E0 is the peak field strength of the inhomogeneity and Ecr the critical electric field strength.

Z. Samsonova, S. Höfer, A. Hoffmann, B. Landgraf, M. Zürch, I. Uschmann, D. Khaghani, O. Rosmej, P. Neumayer, R. Röder, L. Trefflich, C. Ronning, E. Förster, C. Spielmann, and D. Kartashov
X-ray emission generated by laser-produced plasmas from dielectric nanostructured targets
AIP Conference Proceedings 1811, 180001 (2017)

Abstract: We present an experimental study of X-ray generation from nanostructured ZnO targets. Samples of different morphology ranging from nanowires to polished surfaces are irradiated by relativistically intense femtosecond laser pulses. X-ray emission of plasma is generated by 45 fs 130 mJ laser pulses at 400 nm with picosecond temporal contrast better than 1E−9 interacting with an array of ZnO nanowires. The measured spectra indicate the existence of highly ionized states of Zn (up to He-like Zn). The obtained flux of ∼1E10 photons per laser shot at the neutral Zn Kα energies around 8.65 keV and at the Zn Heα energies around 9 keV is almost 3 times higher for nanostructured targets compared to the reference polished sample and implies 1E−4 conversion efficiency from the laser energy to the total energy of the emitted X-ray photons.

H. Gies, and F. Karbstein
An addendum to the Heisenberg-Euler effective action beyond one loop
Journal of High Energy Physics 03, 108 (2017)

Abstract: We study the effective interactions of external electromagnetic fields induced by fluctuations of virtual particles in the vacuum of quantum electrodynamics. Our main focus is on these interactions at two-loop order. We discuss in detail the emergence of the renowned Heisenberg-Euler effective action from the underlying microscopic theory of quantum electrodynamics, emphasizing its distinction from a standard one-particle irreducible effective action. In our explicit calculations we limit ourselves to constant and slowly varying external fields, allowing us to adopt a locally constant field approximation. One of our main findings is that at two-loop order there is a finite one-particle reducible contribution to the Heisenberg-Euler effective action in constant fields, which was previously assumed to vanish. In addition to their conceptual significance, our results are relevant for high-precision probes of quantum vacuum nonlinearity in strong electromagnetic fields.

R. Sánchez, M. Lochmann, R. Jöhren, Z. Andelkovic, D. Anielski, B. Botermann, M. Bussmann, A. Dax, N. Frömmgen, C. Geppert, M. Hammen, V. Hannen, T. Kühl, Y. A. Litvinov, R. López-Coto, T. Stöhlker, R. C. Thompson, J. Vollbrecht, W. Wen, C. Weinheimer, E. Will, D. Winters, and W. Nörtershäuser
Laser spectroscopy measurement of the 2s-hyperfine splitting in lithium-like bismuth
Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 50, 085004 (2017)

Abstract: We have recently reported on the first direct measurement of the 2s hyperfine transition in lithium-like bismuth (209Bi^80+) at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany. Combined with a new measurement of the 1s hyperfine splitting (HFS) in hydrogen-like (209Bi^82+) the so-called specific difference Δ'E=-61.37(36) meV could be determined and was found to be in good agreement with its prediction from strong-field bound-state quantum electrodynamics. Here we report on additional investigations performed to estimate systematic uncertainties of these results and on details of the experimental setup. We show that the dominating uncertainty arises from insufficient knowledge of the ion beam velocity which is determined by the electron-cooler voltage. Two routes to obtain a cooler-voltage calibration are discussed and it is shown that agreement can be reached either between the experimental Δ'E and the theoretical result, or between the two measurements of the HFS in hydrogen-like bismuth, but not both at the same time.

S. Galyamin, A. Tyukhtin, and A. Peshkov
Transition radiation at the boundary of a chiral isotropic medium
Physical Review E 95, 032142 (2017)

Abstract: This study analyzes the radiation produced by a point charge intersecting the interface between a vacuum and a chiral isotropic medium. We deduce analytical expressions for the Fourier components of an electromagnetic field in both vacuum and medium for arbitrary charge velocity. The main focus is on investigating the far field in a vacuum. The distinguishing feature of the interface with a chiral isotropic medium is that the field in the vacuum area contains both copolarization (coinciding with the polarization of the self-field of a charge) and cross-polarization (orthogonal to the polarization of the self-field). Using a saddle-point approach, we obtain asymptotic representations for the field components in the far-field zone for typical frequency ranges of the Condon model of the chiral medium. We note that a so-called lateral wave is generated in a vacuum for certain parameters. The main contribution to the radiation at large distances is presented by two (co- and cross-) spherical waves of transition radiation. These waves are coherent and result in a total spherical wave with elliptical polarization, with the polarization coefficient being determined by the chirality of the medium. We present typical radiation patterns and ellipses of polarization.

F. Karbstein
Photon Propagation in Slowly Varying Electromagnetic Fields
Russian Physics Journal 59, 1 (2017)

Abstract: Effective theory of soft photons in slowly varying electromagnetic background fields is studied at one-loop order in QED. This is of relevance for the study of all-optical signatures of quantum vacuum nonlinearity in realistic electromagnetic background fields as provided by high-intensity lasers. The central result derived in this article is a new analytical expression for the photon polarization tensor in two linearly polarized counterpropagating pulsed Gaussian laser beams. Treating the peak field strengths of both laser beams as free parameters, this field configuration can be considered as interpolating between the limiting cases of a purely right- or left-moving laser beam (if one of the peak field strengths is set equal to zero) and the standing-wave type scenario with two counter-propagating beams of equal strength.

R. Ferrer, A. Barzakh, B. Bastin, R. Beerwerth, M. Block, P. Creemers, H. Grawe, R. Groote, P. Delahaye, X. Fléchard, S. Franchoo, S. Fritzsche, L. P. Gaffney, L. Ghys, W. Gins, C. Granados, R. Heinke, L. Hijazi, M. Huyse, T. Kron, Y. Kudryavtsev, M. Laatiaoui, N. Lecesne, M. Loiselet, F. Lutton, I. D. Moore, Y. Martínez, E. Mogilevskiy, P. Naubereit, J. Piot, S. Raeder, S. Rothe, H. Savajols, S. Sels, V. Sonnenschein, J.-C. Thomas, E. Traykov, C. Beveren, P. Bergh, P. Duppen, K. Wendt, and A. Zadvornaya
Towards high-resolution laser ionization spectroscopy of the heaviest elements in supersonic gas jet expansion
Nature Communications 8, 14520 (2017)

Abstract: Resonant laser ionization and spectroscopy are widely used techniques at radioactive ion beam facilities to produce pure beams of exotic nuclei and measure the shape, size, spin and electromagnetic multipole moments of these nuclei. However, in such measurements it is difficult to combine a high efficiency with a high spectral resolution. Here we demonstrate the on-line application of atomic laser ionization spectroscopy in a supersonic gas jet, a technique suited for high-precision studies of the ground- and isomeric-state properties of nuclei located at the extremes of stability. The technique is characterized in a measurement on actinium isotopes around the N=126 neutron shell closure. A significant improvement in the spectral resolution by more than one order of magnitude is achieved in these experiments without loss in efficiency.

M. Gebhardt, C. Gaida, F. Stutzki, S. Hädrich, C. Jauregui, J. Limpert, and A. Tünnermann
High average power nonlinear compression to 4  GW, sub-50  fs pulses at 2  μm wavelength
Optics Letters 42, 747 (2017)

Abstract: The combination of high-repetition-rate ultrafast thulium-doped fiber laser systems and gas-based nonlinear pulse compression in waveguides offers promising opportunities for the development of high-performance few-cycle laser sources at 2 μm wavelength. In this Letter, we report on a nonlinear pulse compression stage delivering 252 μJ, sub-50 fs-pulses at 15.4 W of average power. This performance level was enabled by actively mitigating ultrashort pulse propagation effects induced by the presence of water vapor absorptions.

P. Wustelt, M. Möller, M. Schöffler, X. Xie, V. Hanus, A. Sayler, A. Baltuska, G. Paulus, and M. Kitzler
Numerical investigation of the sequential-double-ionization dynamics of helium in different few-cycle-laser-field shapes
Phyical Review A 95, 023411 (2017)

Abstract: We investigate sequential double ionization of helium by intense near-circularly polarized few-cycle laser pulses using a semiclassical ionization model with two independent electrons. Simulated He^2+ ion momentum distributions are compared to those obtained in recent benchmark experiments. We study the influence of a number of pulse parameters such as peak intensity, carrier-envelope phase, pulse duration, and second- and third-order spectral phase on the shape of the ion momentum distributions. Good agreement is found in the main features of these distributions and of their dependence on the laser pulse duration, peak intensity, and carrier-envelope phase. Furthermore, we find that for explaining certain fine-scale features observed in the experiments, it becomes important to consider subtle timing variations in the two-electron emissions introduced by small values of chirp. This result highlights the possibility of measuring and controlling multielectron dynamics on the attosecond time scale by fine tuning the field evolution of intense close-to-single-cycle laser pulses.

L. Deák, L. Bottyán, T. Fülöp, D. G. Merkel, D. L. Nagy, S. Sajti, K. S. Schulze, H. Spiering, I. Uschmann, and H.-C. Wille
Realizing total reciprocity violation in the phase for photon scattering
Scientific Reports 7, 43114 (2017)

Abstract: Reciprocity is when wave or quantum scattering satisfies a symmetry property, connecting a scattering process with the reversed one. While reciprocity involves the interchange of source and detector, it is fundamentally different from rotational invariance, and is a generalization of time reversal invariance, occurring in absorptive media as well. Due to its presence at diverse areas of physics, it admits a wide variety of applications. For polarization dependent scatterings, reciprocity is often violated, but violation in the phase of the scattering amplitude is much harder to experimentally observe than violation in magnitude. Enabled by the advantageous properties of nuclear resonance scattering of synchrotron radiation, we have measured maximal, i.e., 180-degree, reciprocity violation in the phase. For accessing phase information, we introduced a new version of stroboscopic detection. The scattering setting was devised based on a generalized reciprocity theorem that opens the way to construct new types of reciprocity related devices.

M. Kahle, J. Körner, J. Hein, and M. C. Kaluza
Performance of a quantum defect minimized disk laser based on cryogenically cooled Yb:CaF2
Optics & Laser Technology 92, 19 (2017)

Abstract: Abstract A low quantum defect is the fundamental key to a high efficiency of any laser. To study the anticipated performance boost for a 980 nm-diode pumped cryogenically cooled Yb:CaF2 disk laser we compared its operation at output wavelengths of 991 nm, 996 nm, and 1032 nm. Despite the higher quantum defect a maximum efficiency of 74% (output versus incident power) with an output power of 15.8 W was achieved at the 1032 nm output wavelength. This observation led to a detailed analysis of remaining loss mechanisms we are reporting on in this paper.

H. Liebetrau, M. Hornung, S. Keppler, M. Hellwing, A. Kessler, F. Schorcht, J. Hein, and M. C. Kaluza
Intracavity stretcher for chirped-pulse amplification in high-power laser systems
Optics Letters 42, 326 (2017)

Abstract: We present pulse stretching with an intracavity Offner-type pulse stretcher applied to a high-energy, short-pulse laser system. The compact intracavity design, offering a tunable stretching factor, allows the pulses to be stretched to several nanoseconds and, at the same time, to be amplified to 100 μJ. The stretched pulses have been further amplified with the high-power laser system Polaris and have been recompressed to durations as short as 102 fs, reaching peak powers of 100 TW. Furthermore, the temporal intensity contrast is investigated and compared to the formerly used stretcher setup.

J. Thomas, M. M. Günther, and A. Pukhov
Beam load structures in a basic relativistic interaction model
Physics of Plasmas 24, 013101 (2017)

Abstract: Some recent experiments have shown that the beam load in bubble and blow-out experiments is located in a volume as small as a few μm^3. Now, we show what kinds of inner structures are possible in such a high dense electron ensemble. Our analysis starts from a first principles model for relativistically corrected mutual electron interaction in a phenomenological bubble model. Discussing 2D and 3D beam load configurations, we show that, depending on the bunch emittance, the beam load might be in a highly ordered and dense configuration, a less ordered but still dense state, or a configuration where each electron performs an individual random motion.


S. Breitkopf, S. Wunderlich, T. Eidam, E. Shestaev, S. Holzberger, T. Gottschall, H. Carstens, A. Tünnermann, I. Pupeza, and J. Limpert
Extraction of enhanced, ultrashort laser pulses from a passive 10-MHz stack-and-dump cavity
Applied Physics B 122, 297 (2016)

Abstract: Periodic dumping of ultrashort laser pulses from a passive multi-MHz repetition-rate enhancement cavity is a promising route towards multi-kHz repetition-rate pulses with Joule-level energies at an unparalleled average power. Here, we demonstrate this so-called stack-and-dump scheme with a 30-m-long cavity. Using an acousto-optic modulator, we extract pulses of 0.16 mJ at 30-kHz repetition rate, corresponding to 65 stacked input pulses, representing an improvement in three orders of magnitude over previously extracted pulse energies. The ten times longer cavity affords three essential benefits over former approaches. First, the time between subsequent pulses is increased to 100 ns, relaxing the requirements on the switch. Second, it allows for the stacking of strongly stretched pulses (here from 800 fs to 1.5 ns), thus mitigating nonlinear effects in the cavity optics. Third, the choice of a long cavity offers increased design flexibility with regard to thermal robustness, which will be crucial for future power scaling. The herein presented results constitute a necessary step towards stack-and-dump systems providing access to unprecedented laser parameter regimes.

M. Yeung, S. Rykovanov, J. Bierbach, L. Li, E. Eckner, S. Kuschel, A. Woldegeorgis, C. Rödel, A. Sävert, G. G. Paulus, M. Coughlan, B. Dromey, and M. Zepf
Experimental observation of attosecond control over relativistic electron bunches with two-colour fields
Nature Photonics 239, 1 (2016)

Abstract: Energy coupling during relativistically intense laser–matter interactions is encoded in the attosecond motion of strongly driven electrons at the pre-formed plasma–vacuum boundary. Studying and controlling this motion can reveal details about the microscopic processes that govern a vast array of light–matter interaction phenomena, including those at the forefront of extreme laser–plasma science such as laser-driven ion acceleration, bright attosecond pulse generation and efficient energy coupling for the generation and study of warm dense matter. Here we experimentally demonstrate that by precisely adjusting the relative phase of an additional laser beam operating at the second harmonic of the driving laser it is possible to control the trajectories of relativistic electron bunches formed during the interaction with a solid target at the attosecond scale. We observe significant enhancements in the resulting high-harmonic yield, suggesting potential applications for sources of ultra-bright, extreme ultraviolet attosecond radiation to be used in atomic and molecular pump–probe experiments.

M. Drągowski, M. Wlodarczyk, G. Weber, J. Ciborowski, J. Enders, Y. Fritzsche, and A. Poliszczuk
Monte Carlo study of the effective Sherman function for electron polarimetry
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 389, 48 (2016)

Abstract: The PEBSI Monte Carlo simulation was upgraded towards usefulness for electron Mott polarimetry. The description of Mott scattering was improved and polarisation transfer in Moller scattering was included in the code. An improved agreement was achieved between the simulation and available experimental data for a 100 keV polarised electron beam scattering off gold foils of various thicknesses. The dependence of the effective Sherman function on scattering angle and target thickness, as well as the method of finding optimal conditions for Mott polarimetry measurements were analysed.

L. Filippin, R. Beerwerth, J. Ekman, S. Fritzsche, M. Godefroid, and P. Jönsson
Multiconfiguration calculations of electronic isotope shift factors in Al I
Phyical Review A 94, 062508 (2016)

Abstract: The present work reports results from systematic multiconfiguration Dirac–Hartree–Fock calculations of electronic isotope shift factors for a set of transitions between low-lying levels of neutral aluminium. These electronic quantities together with observed isotope shifts between different pairs of isotopes provide the changes in mean-square charge radii of the atomic nuclei. Two computational approaches are adopted for the estimation of the mass- and field-shift factors. Within these approaches, different models for electron correlation are explored in a systematic way to determine a reliable computational strategy and to estimate theoretical error bars of the isotope shift factors.

J. Hofbrucker, A. V. Volotka, and S. Fritzsche
Relativistic calculations of the nonresonant two-photon ionization of neutral atoms
Phyical Review A 94, 063412 (2016)

Abstract: The nonresonant, two-photon, one-electron ionization of neutral atoms is studied theoretically in the framework of relativistic second-order perturbation theory and independent particle approximation. In particular, the importance of relativistic and screening effects in the total two-photon ionization cross section is investigated. Detailed computations have been carried out for the K-shell ionization of neutral Ne, Ge, Xe, and U atoms. The relativistic effects significantly decrease the total cross section; for the case of U, for example, they reduce the total cross section by a factor of two. Moreover, we have found that the account for the screening effects of the remaining electrons leads to occurrence of an unexpected minimum in the total cross section at the total photon energies equal to the ionization threshold; for the case of Ne, for example, the cross section drops there by a factor of three.

K. Minamisono, D. M. Rossi, R. Beerwerth, S. Fritzsche, D. Garand, A. Klose, Y. Liu, B. Maaß, P. F. Mantica, A. J. Miller, P. Müller, W. Nazarewicz, W. Nörtershäuser, E. Olsen, M. R. Pearson, P.-G. Reinhard, E. E. Saperstein, C. Sumithrarachchi, and S. V. Tolokonnikov
Charge Radii of Neutron Deficient ⁵²,⁵³Fe Produced by Projectile Fragmentation
Physical Review Letters 117, 252501 (2016)

Abstract: Bunched-beam collinear laser spectroscopy is performed on neutron deficient Fe52,53 prepared through in-flight separation followed by a gas stopping. This novel scheme is a major step to reach nuclides far from the stability line in laser spectroscopy. Differential mean-square charge radii δ⟨r2⟩ of Fe52,53 are determined relative to stable Fe56 as δ⟨r2⟩56,52=−0.034(13)  fm2 and δ⟨r2⟩56,53=−0.218(13)  fm2, respectively, from the isotope shift of atomic hyperfine structures. The multiconfiguration Dirac-Fock method is used to calculate atomic factors to deduce δ⟨r2⟩. The values of δ⟨r2⟩ exhibit a minimum at the N=28 neutron shell closure. The nuclear density functional theory with Fayans and Skyrme energy density functionals is used to interpret the data. The trend of δ⟨r2⟩ along the Fe isotopic chain results from an interplay between single-particle shell structure, pairing, and polarization effects and provides important data for understanding the intricate trend in the δ⟨r2⟩ of closed-shell Ca isotopes.

A. V. Volotka, A. Surzhykov, S. Trotsenko, G. Plunien, Th. Stöhlker, and S. Fritzsche
Nuclear Excitation by Two-Photon Electron Transition
Physical Review Letters 117, 243001 (2016)

Abstract: A new mechanism of nuclear excitation via two-photon electron transitions (NETP) is proposed and studied theoretically. As a generic example, detailed calculations are performed for the E1E1 1s2sS01→1s2S01 two-photon decay of a He-like Ac87+225 ion with a resonant excitation of the 3/2+ nuclear state with an energy of 40.09(5) keV. The probability for such a two-photon decay via the nuclear excitation is found to be PNETP=3.5×10−9 and, thus, is comparable with other mechanisms, such as nuclear excitation by electron transition and by electron capture. The possibility for the experimental observation of the proposed mechanism is thoroughly discussed.

J. Körner, J. Hein, and M. Kaluza
Compact Aberration-Free Relay-Imaging Multi-Pass Layouts for High-Energy Laser Amplifiers
Applied Sciences 6, 353 (2016)

Abstract: We present the results from a theoretical investigation of laser beam propagation in relay imaging multi-pass layouts, which recently found application in high-energy laser amplifiers. Using a method based on the well-known ABCD-matrix formalism and proven by ray tracing, it was possible to derive a categorization of such systems. Furthermore, basic rules for the setup of such systems and the compensation for low order aberrations are derived. Due to the introduced generalization and parametrization, the presented results can immediately be applied to any system of the investigated kinds for a wide range of parameters, such as number of round-trips, focal lengths and optics sizes. It is shown that appropriate setups allow a close-to-perfect compensation of defocus caused by a thermal lens and astigmatism caused by non-normal incidence on the imaging optics, as well. Both are important to avoid intensity spikes leading to damages of optics in multi-pass laser amplifiers.

H. Li, X. M. Tong, N. Schirmel, G. Urbasch, K. J. Betsch, S. Zherebtsov, F. Süßmann, A. Kessel, S. A. Trushin, G. G. Paulus, K.-M. Weitzel, and M. F. Kling
Intensity dependence of the dissociative ionization of DCl in few-cycle laser fields
Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 49, 015601 (2016)

Abstract: We have studied the dissociative ionization of DCl in 4 fs laser fields at 720 nm central wavelength using intensities in the range (1.3–3.1) × 10^14 W cm−2 . By employing the phase-tagged velocity-map imaging technique, information about the angular distribution of deuterium ions as a function of their kinetic energy and the carrier-envelope phase is obtained. On the basis of the experimental data and semi-classical simulations, three regions are distinguished for the resulting D+ ions with different kinetic energies. The one with the lowest kinetic energy, around 5–7 eV, is from dissociation involving the X-state of DCl+ , populated through direct ionization with the laser field. The second region, around 7–11 eV, originates from rescattering induced dissociative ionization. Above 2 × 10^14 W cm−2 D+ ions with kinetic energies exceeding 15 eV are obtained, which we ascribe to double ionization induced by rescattered electrons.

K.-H. Blumenhagen, S. Fritzsche, T. Gassner, A. Gumberidze, R. Märtin, N. Schell, D. Seipt, U. Spillmann, A. Surzhykov, S. Trotsenko, G. Weber, V. A. Yerokhin, and Th. Stöhlker
Polarization transfer in Rayleigh scattering of hard x-rays
New Journal of Physics 18, 103034 (2016)

Abstract: We report on the first elastic hard x-ray scattering experiment where the linear polarization characteristics of both the incident and the scattered radiation were observed. Rayleigh scattering was investigated in a relativistic regime by using a high- Z target material, namely gold, and a photon energy of 175 keV. Although the incident synchrotron radiation was nearly 100% linearly polarized, at a scattering angle of θ=90° we observed a strong depolarization for the scattered photons with a degree of linear polarization of +27% ± 12% only. This finding agrees with second-order quantum electrodynamics calculations of Rayleigh scattering, when taking into account a small polarization impurity of the incident photon beam which was determined to be close to 98%. The latter value was obtained independently from the elastic scattering by analyzing photons that were Compton-scattered in the target. Moreover, our results indicate that when relying on state-of-the-art theory, Rayleigh scattering could provide a very accurate method to diagnose polarization impurities in a broad region of hard x-ray energies.

R. Klas, S. Demmler, M. Tschernajew, S. Hädrich, Y. Shamir, A. Tünnermann, J. Rothhardt, and J. Limpert
Table-top milliwatt-class extreme ultraviolet high harmonic light source
Optica 3, 1167 (2016)

Abstract: Extreme ultraviolet (XUV) lasers are essential for the investigation of fundamental physics. Especially high repetition rate, high photon flux sources are of major interest for reducing acquisition times and improving signal-to-noise ratios in a plethora of applications. Here, an XUV source based on cascaded frequency conversion is presented, which, due to the drastic better single atom response for short wavelength drivers, delivers an average output power of (832±204)  μW at 21.7 eV. This is the highest average power produced by any high harmonic generation source in this spectral range, surpassing previous demonstrations by almost an order of magnitude. Furthermore, a narrowband harmonic at 26.6 eV with a relative energy bandwidth of only ΔE/E=1.8·10−3 has been generated that is of high interest for high-precision spectroscopy experiments.

M. Hornung, H. Liebetrau, S. Keppler, A. Kessler, M. Hellwing, F. Schorcht, G. A. Becker, M. Reuter, J. Polz, J. Körner, J. Hein, and M. C. Kaluza
54  J pulses with 18  nm bandwidth from a diode-pumped chirped-pulse amplification laser system
Optics Letters 41, 5413 (2016)

Abstract: We report on results from the fully diode-pumped chirped-pulse amplification laser system Polaris. Pulses were amplified to a maximum energy of 54.2 J before compression. These pulses have a full width at half-maximum spectral bandwidth of 18 nm centered at 1033 nm and are generated at a repetition rate of 0.02 Hz. To the best of our knowledge, these are the most energetic broadband laser pulses generated by a diode-pumped laser system so far. Due to the limited size of our vacuum compressor, only attenuated pulses could be compressed to a duration of 98 fs containing an energy of 16.7 J, which leads to a peak power of 170 TW. These pulses could be focused to a peak intensity of 1.3×1021  W/cm2. Having an ultra-high temporal contrast of 1012 with respect to amplified spontaneous emission these laser pulses are well suited for high-intensity laser–matter experiments.

G. K. Tadesse, R. Klas, S. Demmler, S. Hädrich, I. Wahyutama, M. Steinert, C. Spielmann, M. Zürch, T. Pertsch, A. Tünnermann, J. Limpert, and J. Rothhardt
High speed and high resolution table-top nanoscale imaging
Optics Letters 41, 5170 (2016)

Abstract: We present a table-top coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) experiment based on high-order harmonics generated at 18 nm by a high average power femtosecond fiber laser system. The high photon flux, narrow spectral bandwidth, and high degree of spatial coherence allow for ultrahigh subwavelength resolution imaging at a high numerical aperture. Our experiments demonstrate a half-pitch resolution of 15 nm, close to the actual Abbe limit of 12 nm, which is the highest resolution achieved from any table-top extreme ultraviolet (XUV) or x-ray microscope. In addition, sub-30 nm resolution was achieved with only 3 s of integration time, bringing live diffractive imaging and three-dimensional tomography on the nanoscale one step closer to reality. The current resolution is solely limited by the wavelength and the detector size. Thus, table-top nanoscopes with only a few-nanometer resolutions are in reach and will find applications in many areas of science and technology.

D. Seipt, R. A. Müller, A. Surzhykov, and S. Fritzsche
Two-color above-threshold ionization of atoms and ions in XUV Bessel beams and intense laser light
Phyical Review A 94, 053420 (2016)

Abstract: The two-color above-threshold ionization (ATI) of atoms and ions is investigated for a vortex Bessel beam in the presence of a strong near-infrared (NIR) light field. While the photoionization is caused by the photons from the weak but extreme ultraviolet (XUV) vortex Bessel beam, the energy and angular distribution of the photoelectrons and their sideband structure are affected by the plane-wave NIR field. We here explore the energy spectra and angular emission of the photoelectrons in such two-color fields as a function of the size and location of the target atoms with regard to the beam axis. In addition, analog to the circular dichroism in typical two-color ATI experiments with circularly polarized light, we define and discuss seven different dichroism signals for such vortex Bessel beams that arise from the various combinations of the orbital and spin angular momenta of the two light fields. For localized targets, it is found that these dichroism signals strongly depend on the size and position of the atoms relative to the beam. For macroscopically extended targets, in contrast, three of these dichroism signals tend to zero, while the other four just coincide with the standard circular dichroism, similar as for Bessel beams with a small opening angle. Detailed computations of the dichroism are performed and discussed for the 4s valence-shell photoionization of Ca+ ions.

H. Heylen, C. Babcock, R. Beerwerth, J. Billowes, M. L. Bissell, K. Blaum, J. Bonnard, P. Campbell, B. Cheal, T. Day Goodacre, D. Fedorov, S. Fritzsche, R. F. Garcia Ruiz, W. Geithner, Ch. Geppert, W. Gins, L. K. Grob, M. Kowalska, K. Kreim, S. M. Lenzi, I. D. Moore, B. Maass, S. Malbrunot-Ettenauer, B. Marsh, R. Neugart, G. Neyens, W. Nörtershäuser, T. Otsuka, J. Papuga, R. Rossel, S. Rothe, R. Sánchez, Y. Tsunoda, C. Wraith, L. Xie, X. F. Yang, and D. T. Yordanov
Changes in nuclear structure along the Mn isotopic chain studied via charge radii
Physical Review C 94, 054321 (2016)

Abstract: The hyperfine spectra of Mn51,53−64 were measured in two experimental runs using collinear laser spectroscopy at ISOLDE, CERN. Laser spectroscopy was performed on the atomic 3d54s2S5/26→3d54s4pP3/26 and ionic 3d54s5S2→3d54p5P3 transitions, yielding two sets of isotope shifts. The mass and field shift factors for both transitions have been calculated in the multiconfiguration Dirac-Fock framework and were combined with a King plot analysis in order to obtain a consistent set of mean-square charge radii which, together with earlier work on neutron-deficient Mn, allow the study of nuclear structure changes from N=25 across N=28 up to N=39. A clear development of deformation is observed towards N=40, confirming the conclusions of the nuclear moments studies. From a Monte Carlo shell-model study of the shape in the Mn isotopic chain, it is suggested that the observed development of deformation is not only due to an increase in static prolate deformation but also due to shape fluctuations and triaxiality. The changes in mean-square charge radii are well reproduced using the Duflo-Zuker formula except in the case of large deformation.

M. Fernandes, R. Geithner, J. Golm, R. Neubert, M. Schwickert, Th. Stöhlker, J. Tan, and C. P. Welsch
Non-perturbative measurement of low-intensity charged particle beams
Superconductor Science and Technology 30, 015001 (2016)

Abstract: Non-perturbative measurements of low-intensity charged particle beams are particularly challenging to beam diagnostics due to the low amplitude of the induced electromagnetic fields. In the low-energy antiproton decelerator (AD) and the future extra low energy antiproton rings at CERN, an absolute measurement of the beam intensity is essential to monitor the operation efficiency. Superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) based cryogenic current comparators (CCC) have been used for measuring slow charged beams in the nA range, showing a very good current resolution. But these were unable to measure fast bunched beams, due to the slew-rate limitation of SQUID devices and presented a strong susceptibility to external perturbations. Here, we present a CCC system developed for the AD machine, which was optimised in terms of its current resolution, system stability, ability to cope with short bunched beams, and immunity to mechanical vibrations. This paper presents the monitor design and the first results from measurements with a low energy antiproton beam obtained in the AD in 2015. These are the first CCC beam current measurements ever performed in a synchrotron machine with both coasting and short bunched beams. It is shown that the system is able to stably measure the AD beam throughout the entire cycle, with a current resolution of 30 nA .

S. Keppler, M. Hornung, P. Zimmermann, H. Liebetrau, M. Hellwing, J. Hein, and M. C. Kaluza
Tunable filters for precise spectral gain control in ultra-short-pulse laser systems
Optics Letters 41, 4708 (2016)

Abstract: We present tunable spectral filters (TSFs) as a variable and precisely adjustable method to control the spectral gain of short-pulse laser systems. The TSFs provide a small residual spectral phase and a high damage threshold, and generate no pre- or post-pulses. The method is demonstrated for two different laser materials and can be applied as an intracavity compensation in regenerative amplifiers as well as a method for pre-compensation in high-energy multipass amplifiers. With this method, a full width at half-maximum bandwidth of 23.9 nm could be demonstrated in a diode-pumped, 50 J Yb:CaF2 amplifier.

R. Müller, D. Seipt, R. Beerwerth, M. Ornigotti, A. Szameit, S. Fritzsche, and A. Surzhykov
Photoionization of neutral atoms by X waves carrying orbital angular momentum
Phyical Review A 94, 041402 (2016)

Abstract: In contrast to plane waves, twisted or vortex beams have a complex spatial structure. Both their intensity and energy flow vary within the wave front. Beyond that, polychromatic vortex beams, such as X waves, have a spatially dependent energy distribution. We propose a method to measure this (local) energy spectrum. The method is based on the measurement of the energy distribution of photoelectrons from alkali-metal atoms. On the basis of our fully relativistic calculations, we argue that even ensembles of atoms can be used to probe the local energy spectrum of short twisted pulses.

S. Schippers, R. Beerwerth, L. Abrok, S. Bari, T. Buhr, M. Martins, S. Ricz, J. Viefhaus, S. Fritzsche, and A. Müller
Prominent role of multielectron processes in K-shell double and triple photodetachment of oxygen anions
Phyical Review A 94, 041401 (2016)

Abstract: The photon-ion merged-beam technique was used at a synchrotron light source for measuring the absolute cross sections of the double and triple photodetachment of O− ions. The experimental photon energy range of 524–543 eV comprised the threshold for K-shell ionization. Using resolving powers of up to 13 000, the position, strength, and width of the below-threshold 1s2s22p6 S2 resonance as well as the positions of the 1s2s22p5 P3 and 1s2s22p5 P1 thresholds for K-shell ionization were determined with high precision. In addition, systematically enlarged multiconfiguration Dirac-Fock calculations have been performed for the resonant detachment cross sections. Results from these ab initio computations agree very well with the measurements for the widths and branching fractions for double and triple detachment, if double shakeup (and shakedown) of the valence electrons and the rearrangement of the electron density is taken into account. For the absolute cross sections, however, a previously found discrepancy between measurements and theory is confirmed.

I. P. Ivanov, D. Seipt, A. Surzhykov, and S. Fritzsche
Elastic scattering of vortex electrons provides direct access to the Coulomb phase
Physical Review D 94, 076001 (2016)

Abstract: Vortex electron beams are freely propagating electron waves carrying adjustable orbital angular momentum with respect to the propagation direction. Such beams were experimentally realized just a few years ago and are now used to probe various electromagnetic processes. So far, these experiments used the single vortex electron beams, either propagating in external fields or impacting a target. Here, we investigate the elastic scattering of two such aligned vortex electron beams and demonstrate that this process allows one to experimentally measure features which are impossible to detect in the usual plane-wave scattering. The scattering amplitude of this process is well approximated by two plane-wave scattering amplitudes with different momentum transfers, which interfere and give direct experimental access to the Coulomb phase. This phase (shift) affects the scattering of all charged particles and has thus received significant theoretical attention but was never probed experimentally. We show that a properly defined azimuthal asymmetry, which has no counterpart in plane-wave scattering, allows one to directly measure the Coulomb phase as function of the scattering angle.

H. Bernhardt, B. Marx-Glowna, K. Schulze, B. Grabiger, J. Haber, C. Detlefs, R. Lötzsch, T. Kämpfer, R. Röhlsberger, E. Förster, Th. Stöhlker, I. Uschmann, and G. G. Paulus
High purity x-ray polarimetry with single-crystal diamonds
Applied Physics Letters 109, 121106 (2016)

Abstract: We report on the use of synthetic single-crystal diamonds for high purity x-ray polarimetry to improve the polarization purity of present-day x-ray polarimeters. The polarimeter setup consists of a polarizer and an analyzer, each based on two parallel diamond crystals used at a Bragg angle close to 45°. The experiment was performed using one (400) Bragg reflection on each diamond crystal and synchrotron undulator radiation at an x-ray energy of 9838.75 eV. A polarization purity of 8.9 × 10−10 was measured at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, which is the best value reported for two-reflection polarizer/analyzer setups. This result is encouraging and is a first step to improve the resolution of x-ray polarimeters further by using diamond crystal polarizers and analyzers with four or six consecutive reflections.

M. Lestinsky, V. Andrianov, B. Aurand, V. Bagnoud, D. Bernhardt, H. Beyer, S. Bishop, K. Blaum, A. Bleile, At. Borovik, F. Bosch, C. Bostock, C. Brandau, A. Bräuning-Demian, I. Bray, T. Davinson, B. Ebinger, A. Echler, P. Egelhof, A. Ehresmann, M. Engström, C. Enss, N. Ferreira, D. Fischer, A. Fleischmann, E. Förster, S. Fritzsche, R. Geithner, S. Geyer, J. Glorius, K. Göbel, O. Gorda, J. Goullon, P. Grabitz, R. Grisenti, A. Gumberidze, S. Hagmann, M. Heil, A. Heinz, F. Herfurth, R. Heß, P.-M. Hillenbrand, R. Hubele, P. Indelicato, A. Källberg, O. Kester, O. Kiselev, A. Knie, C. Kozhuharov, S. Kraft-Bermuth, T. Kühl, G. Lane, Y. Litvinov, D. Liesen, X. Ma, R. Märtin, R. Moshammer, A. Müller, S. Namba, P. Neumayer, T. Nilsson, W. Nörtershäuser, G. G. Paulus, N. Petridis, M. Reed, R. Reifarth, P. Reiß, J. Rothhardt, R. Sanchez, M. Sanjari, S. Schippers, H. Schmidt, D. Schneider, P. Scholz, R. Schuch, M. Schulz, V. Shabaev, A. Simonsson, J. Sjöholm, Ö. Skeppstedt, K. Sonnabend, U. Spillmann, K. Stiebing, M. Steck, T. Stöhlker, A. Surzhykov, S. Torilov, E. Träbert, M. Trassinelli, S. Trotsenko, X. Tu, I. Uschmann, P. Walker, G. Weber, D. Winters, P. Woods, H. Zhao, and Y. Zhang
Physics book: CRYRING@ESR
European Physical Journal Special Topics 225, 797 (2016)

Abstract: The exploration of the unique properties of stored and cooled beams of highly-charged ions as provided by heavy-ion storage rings has opened novel and fascinating research opportunities in the realm of atomic and nuclear physics research. Since the late 1980s, pioneering work has been performed at the CRYRING at Stockholm and at the Test Storage Ring (TSR) at Heidelberg. For the heaviest ions in the highest charge-states, a real quantum jump was achieved in the early 1990s by the commissioning of the Experimental Storage Ring (ESR) at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt where challenging experiments on the electron dynamics in the strong field regime as well as nuclear physics studies on exotic nuclei and at the borderline to atomic physics were performed. Meanwhile also at Lanzhou a heavy-ion storage ring has been taken in operation, exploiting the unique research opportunities in particular for medium-heavy ions and exotic nuclei.

I. P. Ivanov, D. Seipt, A. Surzhykov, and S. Fritzsche
Double-slit experiment in momentum space
Europhysics Letters 115, 41001 (2016)

Abstract: Young's classic double-slit experiment demonstrates the reality of interference when waves and particles travel simultaneously along two different spatial paths. Here, we propose a double-slit experiment in momentum space, realized in the free-space elastic scattering of vortex electrons. We show that this process proceeds along two paths in momentum space, which are well localized and well separated from each other. For such vortex beams, the (plane-wave) amplitudes along the two paths acquire adjustable phase shifts and produce interference fringes in the final angular distribution. We argue that this experiment can be realized with the present-day technology. We show that it gives experimental access to the Coulomb phase, a quantity which plays an important role in all charged particle scattering but which usual scattering experiments are insensitive to.

T. Tanikawa, A. Hage, M. Kuhlmann, J. Gonschior, S. Grunewald, E. Plönjes, S. Düsterer, G. Brenner, S. Dziarzhytski, M. Braune, M. Brachmanski, Z. Yin, F. Siewert, T. Dzelzainis, B. Dromey, M. Prandolini, F. Tavella, M. Zepf, and B. Faatz
First observation of SASE radiation using the compact wide-spectral-range XUV spectrometer at FLASH2
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment 830, 170 (2016)

Abstract: The Free-electron LASer in Hamburg (FLASH) has been extended with a new undulator line FLASH2 in 2014. A compact grazing-incident wide-spectral-range spectrometer based on spherical-variable-line-spacing (SVLS) gratings in the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) region was constructed to optimize and characterize the free-electron laser (FEL) performance at FLASH2. The spectrometer is equipped with three different concave SVLS gratings covering a spectral range from 1 to 62 nm to analyze the spectral characteristics of the XUV radiation. Wavelength calibration and evaluation of the spectral resolution were performed at the plane grating monochromator beamline PG2 at FLASH1 before the installation at FLASH2, and compared with analytical simulations. The first light using self-amplified spontaneous emission from FLASH2 was observed by the spectrometer during a simultaneous operation of both undulator lines — FLASH1 and FLASH2. In addition, the spectral resolution of the spectrometer was evaluated by comparing the measured spectrum from FLASH2 with FEL simulations.

I. S. Wahyutama, G. K. Tadesse, A. Tünnermann, J. Limpert, and J. Rothhardt
Influence of detector noise in holographic imaging with limited photon flux
Optics Express 24, 22013 (2016)

Abstract: Lensless coherent diffractive imaging usually requires iterative phase-retrieval for recovering the missing phase information. Holographic techniques, such as Fourier-transform holography (FTH) or holography with extended references (HERALDO), directly provide this phase information and thus allow for a direct non-iterative reconstruction of the sample. In this paper, we analyze the effect of detector noise on the reconstruction for FTH and HERALDO with linear and rectangular references. We find that HERALDO is more sensitive to this type of noise than FTH, especially if rectangular references are employed. This excessive noise, caused by the necessary differentiation step(s) during reconstruction in case of HERALDO, additionally depends on the numerical implementation. When considering both shot-noise and detector noise, we find that FTH provides a better signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) than HERALDO if the available photon flux from the light source is low. In contrast, at high photon flux HERALDO provides better SNR and resolution than FTH. Our findings will help in designing optimum holographic imaging experiments particularly in the photon-flux-limited regime where most ultrafast experiments operate.

S. Hädrich, M. Kienel, M. Müller, A. Klenke, J. Rothhardt, R. Klas, T. Gottschall, T. Eidam, A. Drozdy, P. Jójárt, Z. Várallyay, E. Cormier, K. Osvay, A. Tünnermann, and J. Limpert
Energetic sub-2-cycle laser with 216 W average power
Optics Letters 41, 4332 (2016)

Abstract: Few-cycle lasers are essential for many research areas such as attosecond physics that promise to address fundamental questions in science and technology. Therefore, further advancements are connected to significant progress in the underlying laser technology. Here, two-stage nonlinear compression of a 660 W femtosecond fiber laser system is utilized to achieve unprecedented average power levels of energetic ultrashort or even few-cycle laser pulses. In a first compression step, 408 W, 320 μJ, 30 fs pulses are achieved, which can be further compressed to 216 W, 170 μJ, 6.3 fs pulses in a second compression stage. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest average power few-cycle laser system presented so far. It is expected to significantly advance the fields of high harmonic generation and attosecond science.

C. Gaida, M. Gebhardt, F. Stutzki, C. Jauregui, J. Limpert, and A. Tünnermann
Thulium-doped fiber chirped-pulse amplification system with 2 GW of peak power
Optics Letters 41, 4130 (2016)

Abstract: Thulium-doped fibers with ultra large mode-field areas offer new opportunities for the power scaling of mid-IR ultrashort-pulse laser sources. Here, we present a laser system delivering a pulse-peak power of 2 GW and a nearly transform-limited pulse duration of 200 fs in combination with 28.7 W of average power. This performance level has been achieved by optimizing the pulse shape, reducing the overlap with atmospheric absorption lines, and incorporating a climate chamber to reduce the humidity of the atmospheric environment.

V. A. Yerokhin, S. Y. Buhmann, S. Fritzsche, and A. Surzhykov
Electric dipole polarizabilities of Rydberg states of alkali-metal atoms
Phyical Review A 94, 032503 (2016)

Abstract: Calculations of the static electric-dipole scalar and tensor polarizabilities are presented for two alkali-metal atoms, Rb and Cs, for the nS, nP½,3/2, and nD3/2,5/2 states with large principal quantum numbers up to n=50. The calculations are performed within an effective one-electron approximation, based on the Dirac-Fock Hamiltonian with a semiempirical core-polarization potential. The obtained results are compared with those from a simpler semiempirical approach and with available experimental data.