To temporally probe matter, a triggering device faster than the movements to be resolved is required. For instance, in order to access electronic movements in atoms, this is the attosecond timescale (as).
Generating such short probes is extremely challenging, but the expected applications are striking and at the cutting-edge of science, ranging from atomic and molecular physics to surface science, material science The only known solution to this issue is the use of High Harmonic Generation in gases, which h as been used recently to synthesize trains of 170 as-long pulses or alternatively single 250 as pulses.
Nevertheless both solutions lack versatility and tunability, preventing their use straight away for applications. The project objectives are
- to tailor each attosecond pulse in a train, and
- to tailor the whole train. The first task is aimed at getting some agility and a control on the pulse shape, as well as on decreasing the pulse duration below 100 as.
We propose to use recently-designed multilayer mirrors in the UV-XUV range. The second task is aimed at gaining a full control on the pulses within the train, and should eventually end with the generation of a control number of attosecond pulses, or even single pulses on demand.
It will be carried out merging several techniques that have been demonstrated recently, namely compression through filamentation in a gas, HHG with a two-colour field, and polarization gating of HHG. Both objectives will require some upgrade of the available laser. In particular, we will set a control of its carrier envelope phase.
This project comes within the context of a high demand of controlled attosecond pulses. It constitutes an exciting and beneficial training for the applicant in a highly competitive laboratory.
He will benefit from the training experience of the host and will develop his experimental and personal skills needed to become a scientist in ultra-fast science in Europe.
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