Image Relativistic attosecond physics

Relativistic attosecond physics

Prof. Dr. L. Veisz, Experimental Physics

Hundred attoseconds (10-16 s) corresponds to the natural time scale of electrons in atoms, molecules, solids or plasmas. Correspondingly, our long term goal is to investigate and control processes in the microcosm with this temporal resolution. Our experimental group is engaged in the research fields of attosecond electron and light pulse generation from mainly relativistic interactions at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ). These unique sources should serve as a primary tool for the investigations. To this end the research is divided into the following projects:

Major research areas

  1. Sub-5-fs multi-10-TW light source development. This projects aims at the further development of the main laser source that will drive attosecond sources in laser-plasma interactions. A first-of-its-kind Optical Parametric Synthesizer (laser) is working in the laboratories and an upgrade toward 100 TW peak power and some other improvements are planned.

    References:
    D. Herrmann et al., “Approaching the full octave: noncollinear optical parametric chirped pulse amplification with two-color pumping”, Opt. Express 18, 18752 (2010).
    J. M. Mikhailova et al., “Ultrahigh-contrast few-cycle pulses for multipetawatt class laser technology”, Opt. Lett. 36, 3145 (2011).
  2. Generation of isolated intense attosecond XUV and X-ray pulses. Two complementary experiments, aiming the production of intense isolated attosecond XUV and X-ray pulses, are followed in our group. The first is based on high harmonic and coherent continuum generation with loose focusing in a gas medium. The second is utilizing relativistic Doppler shift of the sub-two-optical cycle laser on plasma surfaces. The sources will allow to do research on nonlinear XUV physics in the attosecond time domain.

    References:
    Y. Nomura et al., “Attosecond phase locking of harmonics emitted from laser-produced plasmas.” Nature Phys. 5, 124 (2009).
    P. Heissler et al., “Few-Cycle Driven Relativistically Oscillating Plasma Mirrors: A Source of Intense Isolated Attosecond Pulses”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 235003 (2012).
  3. Generation of relativistic attosecond electron bunches in laser-plasma interactions. These sources are based on laser wakefield acceleration of electrons as well as interaction of nanometer sized solid targets with ultra-relativistic laser pulses. Electron pulses will be produced with femto- and attosecond duration and multi-(10)-MeV electron energy. These particles beams have potential applications in time-resolved electron diffraction and intense attosecond XUV pulse generation via Thomson scattering.

    References:
    K. Schmid et al., Few-cycle laser-driven electron acceleration. Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 124801 (2009).
    A. Buck et al., “Real-time observation of laser-driven electron acceleration”, Nature Physics 7, 543548 (2011).

Contribution to IMPRS curriculum:

Photonics II: ultrashort laser pulses and intense laser-matter interactions

Lecturer: Laszlo Veisz (3+1 hours/week)

Content:
Generation of ultrashort laser pulses down to few-cycle pulse duration. Various temporal characterization techniques of light pulses. Laser and OPCPA amplifiers. Applications of lasers for nonlinear light-matter interactions at high intensities:

  • micro- and nanomachining with lasers: laser-induced breakdown in metals and dielectrics
  • nanophotonics: sub-wavelength concentration of light
  • attosecond physics: high-speed "photography" in the microcosm and capturing the motion of electrons and atoms with femto- and attosecond pulses
  • femtochemistry: controllong chemical reactions with light pulses
  • relativistic laser-plasma physics: generation of relativistic electrons, coherent soft X-rays and attosecond X-ray pulses