Ultrafast extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) and X-ray sources are revolutionizing our ability to follow femtosecond processes with ångström-scale resolution. The next frontier is to simultaneously control the direction, duration and timing of such radiation. Here, we demonstrate a fully functional opto-optical modulator for XUV light, similar to modulators available at infrared (IR) and visible wavelengths. It works by using an IR pulse to control the spatial and spectral phase of the free induction decay that results from using attosecond pulses to excite a gas. The modulator allows us to send the XUV light in a direction of our choosing at a time of our choosing. The inherent synchronization of the XUV emission to the control pulse will allow laser-pump/X-ray probe experiments with sub-femtosecond time resolution.
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This research was supported by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, the Crafoord Foundation, the European Research Council (no. 339253), the Swedish Research Council, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 641789 MEDEA (Molecular Electron Dynamics investigated by IntensE Fields and Attosecond Pulses). Research at Louisiana State University was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, under contract no. DE-SC0010431. Portions of this research were conducted with high performance computing resources provided by Louisiana State University (http://www.hpc.lsu.edu).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Bengtsson, S., Larsen, E., Kroon, D. et al. Space–time control of free induction decay in the extreme ultraviolet. Nature Photon 11, 252–258 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2017.30
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