Image Development of brilliant, next-generation kHz and MHz laser light sources and attosecond metrology

Development of brilliant, next-generation kHz and MHz laser light sources and attosecond metrology.

Abdallah M. Azzeer, KSU

Within the KSU-MPQ collaboration, we strive to develop brilliant, next generation kHz and MHz light sources and attosecond metrology. Within the collaboration important contributions have been made to the present laser infrastructure and attosecond technologies of the Laboratory of Attosecond Physics (LAP) of Prof. Ferenc Krausz [see e.g. Ref. 1-4].

Together with the group of Prof. Eleftherios Goulielmakis and utilizing the LAP infrastructure at MPQ we aim to generate intense, kHz-rate light supercontinua spanning from the ultraviolet to the infrared. The coherent superposition of individual parts of the wide spectrum will permit the synthesis of a vast variety of intense light waveforms, with their ultra-strong electric field being tailored on a sub-femtosecond or attosecond timescale [5]. Such waveforms will open the way to pushing the frontiers of attosecond pulse generation to pulse durations approaching the atomic unit of time (~24 asec) and photon energies of several hundred electronvolts and open up exciting new opportunities for exploring and controlling electron processes in a variety of nano-systems as well as biological molecules.

When few-cycle laser pulses illuminate a metal nanostructure, ultrafast nanoplasmonic field dynamics unfolding on timescales down to the attosecond regime can be initiated. Until now, the attosecond dynamics of nanoplasmonic fields have not been directly observed with simultaneous attosecond temporal and nanometer spatial resolution. A suitable approach towards reaching both attosecond time and nanometer spatial resolution was suggested with the attosecond nanoplasmonic microscope [6], where the collective electron dynamics is initiated with an ultrashort visible light pulse and probed by attosecond extreme ultraviolet (XUV)-induced photoelectron emission using a photoelectron emission microscope.

Together with the group of Prof. Matthias Kling at MPQ and utilizing LAP infrastructure, we aim to develop the laser technology to implement studies with attosecond time and nanometer spatial resolution. The demand for ultrahigh spatial resolution implies a low number of emitted electrons per laser shot from a surface nanostructure in order to avoid space charge effects. It is thus highly desirable to implement attosecond measurements of nanoplasmonic fields with a high-repetition rate XUV source. We strive here for the realization of a brilliant MHz-repetition rate XUV light source allowing ultimately for the generation of isolated attosecond light pulses, paving the way towards attosecond studies on a variety of surface nanosystems.

  1. E. Goulielmakis et al., Nature 466, 739 (2010).
  2. M. Schultze et al., Science 328, 1658 (2010).
  3. F. Reiter et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 243902 (2010).
  4. F. Reiter et al., Opt. Lett. 35, 2248 (2010).
  5. E. Goulielmakis et al., Science 317, 769 (2007).
  6. M. I. Stockman et al., Nature Phot. 1, 539 (2007).