Abstract

A key challenge in attosecond science is the temporal characterization of attosecond pulses that are essential for understanding the evolution of electronic wavefunctions in atoms, molecules and solids1,2,3,4,5,6,7. Current characterization methods, based on nonlinear light–matter interactions, are limited in terms of stability and waveform complexity. Here, we experimentally demonstrate a conceptually new linear and all-optical pulse characterization method, inspired by double-blind holography. Holography is realized by measuring the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) spectra of two unknown attosecond signals and their interference. Assuming a finite pulse duration constraint, we reconstruct the missing spectral phases and characterize the unknown signals in both isolated pulse and double pulse scenarios. This method can be implemented in a wide range of experimental realizations, enabling the study of complex electron dynamics via a single-shot and linear measurement.

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The experimental data and computer code used in this paper are available from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank Y. Mairesse for discussions and helpful comments. N.D. is the incumbent of the Robin Chemers Neustein professorial Chair, and gratefully acknowledges the Minerva Foundation, the Israeli Science Foundation, the European Research Council Starting Research Grant MIDAS, the Crown Photonics Center and the I-Core Center for financial support. F.C. acknowledges financial support from ERC Starting Research Grant STARLIGHT no. 637756. D.O. acknowledges financial support from the ICore program and the Crown Photonics Center. B.N. is the incumbent of the William Petschek Professorial Chair of Mathematics, and acknowledges financial support from the Israeli Science Foundation. O.R. is the incumbent of the Shlomo and Michla Tomarin career development chair, and is supported by a research grant from Mr and Mrs Dan Kane and the Abramson Family Center for Young Scientists.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Physics of Complex Systems, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

    • O. Pedatzur
    • , B. Leshem
    • , H. Shalmoni
    • , O. Raz
    • , D. Oron
    •  & N. Dudovich
  2. Department of Physics, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy

    • A. Trabattoni
    • , M. Galli
    • , M. Lucchini
    •  & M. Nisoli
  3. Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, DESY, Hamburg, Germany

    • A. Trabattoni
    •  & F. Calegari
  4. Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies, CNR-IFN, Milano, Italy

    • M. C. Castrovilli
    • , M. Galli
    • , M. Lucchini
    • , E. Månsson
    • , M. Nisoli
    •  & F. Calegari
  5. Inst. for the Structure of Matter CNR-ISM, Monterotondo, Italy

    • M. C. Castrovilli
  6. Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies CNR-IFN, Padova, Italy

    • F. Frassetto
    •  & L. Poletto
  7. Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

    • B. Nadler
  8. Department of Physics, Hamburg Universität, Hamburg, Germany

    • F. Calegari

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Contributions

O.P., B.L., O.R., D.O., F.C. and N.D. conceived and designed the experiments. O.P., A.T., B.L., M.C.C., M.G., E.P.M., F.C., L.P. and F.F. performed the experiments. O.P., A.T., B.L., H.S., F.C., D.O. and N.D. analysed the data. O.P., A.T., H.S., M.L. and F.C. contributed materials/analysis tools. O.P., A.T., B.N., O.R., M.N., F.C., D.O. and N.D. co-wrote the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to O. Pedatzur or N. Dudovich.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Information

    This file contains Supplementary Figures 1–8 and additional information about the work.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-018-0308-z