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High harmonic generation in condensed matter

Abstract

When solids are exposed to intense laser fields whose forces are comparable to the binding forces of valence electrons in crystals, nonlinear optics of solids advances to the nonperturbative or extreme nonlinear regime. A hallmark effect of extreme nonlinear optics is the emission of high-order harmonics of the laser from the bulk of materials. The discovery and detailed study of this phenomenon over the course of the past decade has offered a broad range of possibilities and seen the dawn of a new field of extreme solid-state photonics. In particular, it opens the way to previously inaccessible spectral ranges, as well as the development of novel solid-state spectroscopy and microscopy techniques that enable detailed probing of the electronic structure of solids. Here we review recent experimental and theoretical advances in this emerging area of study, and highlight the potential future directions and applications.

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Fig. 1: HHG in bulk solids and its measurement.
Fig. 2: Time resolution of high harmonic emission in bulk solids.
Fig. 3: Models of HHG in bulk solids.
Fig. 4: Spectroscopies and microscopies based on high harmonics in solids.
Fig. 5: Optimization, mesoscopic-scale imaging and control of high harmonics.

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Acknowledgements

Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) under SFB 1477 ‘Light-Matter Interactions at Interfaces’, project number 441234705 and the NSERC CRC programme.

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Goulielmakis, E., Brabec, T. High harmonic generation in condensed matter. Nat. Photon. 16, 411–421 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-022-00988-y

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