Intense single-cycle infrared pulse generation

Project leader: Dr. Laszlo Veisz
Project coordinator from King Saud University: Prof. Dr. Abdallah Azzeer

This project extends the technical capability of generating intense, near-single-cycle waveforms to the ultraviolet or (near) infrared spectral ranges. It pursues the latter objective by implementing stimulated Raman scattering in molecular gases impulsively driven by ultra-intense 800-nm-wavelength few-cycle laser pulses.

To perform impulsive Raman excitation the width of the driving pulse should be comparable to or shorter than the period of the Raman active vibrational or rotational mode of the molecular medium under consideration. In the framework of this project the plan is to impulsively excite the Raman active vibration in H2 (vibrational period τν~8 fs, υ = 4159 cm-1) using powerful (Pp = 0.1-10 TW), hypershort (τp = 5-8 fs) pulses delivered by MPQ´s world-class laser facilities and investigate the resultant spectral broadening and frequency shift of the driving radiation and the possibility of exploiting the broadened and/or red-shifted spectrum to reducing the number of cycles within the pulse duration in dependence on the pressure of the gas and intensity of the driving pulse. The proposed approach holds promise for converting the 10-TW, 8-fs, 800-nm pulses from MPQ’s LWS-10 (Light Wave Synthesizer 10) high-power source, which comprise approximately three field oscillation cycles, to near-infrared pulses confined to a single field cycle at a carrier wavelength between 1 µm and 2 µm.

This would be a truly spectacular achievement, with several far reaching implications. These include pushing the frontiers of coherent short-wavelength generation from laboratory sources into the kiloelectronvolt photon energy range by means of high-order harmonic generation in noble gases and exploitation of entirely new mechanisms for efficient laser-driven high-density monoenergetic electron acceleration.

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