Electro-optic sampling of near-infrared waveforms


Access to the complete electric field evolution of a laser pulse is essential for attosecond science in general1, and for the scrutiny and control of electron phenomena in solid-state physics specifically2,3,4,5,6. Time-resolved field measurements are routine in the terahertz spectral range, using electro-optic sampling (EOS)7,8,9, photoconductive switches10,11 and field-induced second harmonic generation12,13. EOS in particular features outstanding sensitivity and ease of use, making it the basis of time-resolved spectroscopic measurements14 for studying charge carrier dynamics15,16,17,18,19,20 and active optical devices21. In this Letter, we show that careful optical filtering allows the bandwidth of this technique to be extended to wavelengths as short as 1.2 μm (230 THz) with half-cycle durations 2.3 times shorter than the sampling pulse. In a proof-of-principle application, we measure the influence of optical parametric amplification (OPA) on the electric field dynamics of a few-cycle near-infrared (NIR) pulse.

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Figure 1: System layout and representative results.
Figure 2: Sampling pulse spectrum and calculated EOS response functions.
Figure 3: Sampling of high-frequency NIR light.
Figure 4: OPCPA pulse amplification dynamics measured with EOS.


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We acknowledge support from LASERLAB-EUROPE (grant agreement no. 284464, the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme) and the Munich-Centre for Advanced Photonics. S.S. acknowledges financial support from the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship program.

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The measurement was performed by S.K., S.S. and N.K. The OPCPA was prepared by A.S., S.K., F.K. and N.K. The specialized multilayer optics were designed and fabricated by M.T. and V.P. The simulations were performed by and the experimental concept was conceived by N.K. All authors reviewed and contributed to the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Nicholas Karpowicz.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Keiber, S., Sederberg, S., Schwarz, A. et al. Electro-optic sampling of near-infrared waveforms. Nature Photon 10, 159–162 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2015.269

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