Researchers present a waveform synthesis scheme that coherently multiplexes the outputs from two broadband optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifiers. The technique provides control at the sub-cycle scale and generates high-energy ultrashort waveforms for use in strong-field physics experiments.
Nobel Prize in Physics 2018
This collection of research papers, reviews, commentaries and associated content from Nature Research celebrates the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics for “ground-breaking inventions in the field of laser physics”. Half of the prize has been awarded to Arthur Ashkin for the invention of optical tweezers and their application in biology. The other half has been awarded to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for the invention of the chirped pulse amplification method for generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses which underpins applications such as laser eye surgery, laser fusion and laser particle acceleration. This collection illustrates the breadth, diversity and impact that these optical techniques have had in science.
Based on a passively phase-locked superposition of a dispersive wave and a soliton from two branches of a femtosecond Er-doped fibre laser, researchers demonstrate that single cycles of light can be achieved using existing fibre technology and standard free-space components. The pulses have a pulse duration of 4.3 fs, close to the shortest possible value for a data bit of information transmitted in the near-infrared.
Short laser pulses of femtosecond time scales are in high demand in order to explore the fast electron dynamics in light-matter interactions. Here, the authors demonstrated the compression of free electron laser pulses in the extreme ultraviolet range by using a chirped pulse amplification technique.
A compact source that generates sub-two-cycle-duration pulses with an average power of 0.1 W spanning 6.8–16.4 μm combines the properties of power scalability, high repetition rate and phase coherence for the first time in this spectral region.
Spatially coherent 11.45 nm radiation is produced by outcoupling the harmonics of cavity-enhanced nonlinearly compressed pulses from a Yb-based laser through a pierced cavity mirror. This technique may lead to high-photon-flux ultrashort-pulse extreme-ultraviolet sources for use in a wide range of applications.
The nuclear fusion of hydrogen and boron nuclei has potential advantages over the fusion of deuterium and tritium for energy production as it produces no neutrons. Labaune et al. report progress towards achieving this by colliding a laser-driven particle beam into a laser-generated plasma.
Recently, there has been significant progress on the application of laser-generated proton beams in material science. Here the authors demonstrate the benefit of employing such beams in stress testing different materials by examining their mechanical, optical, electrical, and morphological properties.
Two-photon scanning microscopy is inherently slow and thus limits volumetric calcium imaging. Prevedel et al. achieve increased volumetric imaging speed by tailoring the excitation volume via light sculpting.