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Chirp-controlled high-harmonic and attosecond-pulse generation via coherent-wake plasma emission driven by mid-infrared laser pulses

Optics Letters
  • Alexander Mitrofanov, Dmitry Sidorov-Biryukov, Pavel Borisovich, Mikhail Rozhko, Evgeny Stepanov, Anton Shutov, Sergey Ryabchuk, Aleksandr Voronin, Andrey Fedotov, and Aleksei Zheltikov
  • received 08/05/2019; accepted 10/29/2019; posted 10/29/2019; Doc. ID 374617
  • Abstract: Coherent-wake plasma emission induced by ultrashort mid-infrared laser pulses on a solid target is shown to give rise to high-brightness, high-order harmonic radiation, offering a promising source of attosecond pulses and a probe for ultrafast subrelativistic plasma dynamics. With 80-fs, 0.2-TW pulses of 3.9-micrometer radiation used as a driver, optical harmonics up to the 34th order are detected, with their spectrum stretching from the mid-infrared to the extreme ultraviolet. The harmonic spectrum is found to be highly sensitive to the chirp of the driver. Particle-in-cell analysis of this effect suggests, in agreement with the generic scenario of coherent-wake emission, that optical harmonics are radiated as trains of extremely short, attosecond ultraviolet pulses with a pulse-to-pulse interval varying over the pulse train. A positive chirp of the driver pulse can partially compensate for this variation in the interpulse separation, allowing harmonics of highest orders to be generated in the plasma emission spectrum.
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