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Ultimate waveform reproducibility of extreme-ultraviolet pulses by high-harmonic generation in quartz


Optical waveforms of light reproducible with subcycle precision underlie applications of lasers in ultrafast spectroscopies, quantum control of matter and light-based signal processing. Nonlinear upconversion of optical pulses via high-harmonic generation in gas media extends these capabilities to the extreme ultraviolet (EUV). However, the waveform reproducibility of the generated EUV pulses in gases is inherently sensitive to intensity and phase fluctuations of the driving field. We used photoelectron interferometry to study the effects of intensity and carrier-envelope phase of an intense single-cycle optical pulse on the field waveform of EUV pulses generated in quartz nanofilms, and contrasted the results with those obtained in gas argon. The EUV waveforms generated in quartz were found to be virtually immune to the intensity and phase of the driving field, implying a non-recollisional character of the underlying emission mechanism. Waveform-sensitive photonic applications and precision measurements of fundamental processes in optics will benefit from these findings.

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We thank D. Bauer and C. Gohle for discussions. This work was supported by the Max Planck Society, a European Research Council grant (Attoelectronics-258501), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the Cluster of Excellence, Munich Centre for Advanced Photonics, and the European Research Training Network (MEDEA-641789).

Author information

M.G. and H.Y.K. conducted the experiments; M.G. and E.G. conceived the experiments. E.G. planned the experiments and supervised the project; all authors interpreted data and contributed to the preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Correspondence to E. Goulielmakis.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Information

    Photoelectron interferometry of ATI- and EUV-generated photoelectrons, semiclassical modelling of EUV emission in quartz and argon, and the direct link between the formed interference fringes and the phase of the EUV pulse.

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Fig. 1: Photoelectron interferometric tracing of the phase of EUV pulses.
Fig. 2: EUV waveform dependence on intensity of optical driver.
Fig. 3: CEP effects of driving field on EUV waveform.