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CoHerent AMplification and PArametric GeNeration of Euv radiation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CHAMPAGNE (CoHerent AMplification and PArametric GeNeration of Euv radiation)

Reporting period: 2018-10-01 to 2020-09-30

The coherent extreme ultra violet (EUV) pulses are ultrashort pulses in the spectrum between ultra violet and X-rays. They are routinely produced in research laboratories via a technique called high harmonic generation (HHG) and they are now the main workhorse for various applications of atomic physics and physical chemistry. As the generation efficiency is very low, the number of applications is limited by the low EUV photon flux. The main ambition of this project is to perform an amplification of the EUV pulses in order to significantly increase the EUV photon flux.

Such an achievement would be an enabling technology causing a breakthrough in the field of atomic physics, physical chemistry, biology, material science and probably other fields as well. Applications suffering from poor signal/noise ratio will become widespread as they will not be limited anymore to research labs where the EUV sources are optimized daily. Moreover, higher photon flux opens completely new physics, as the EUV nonlinear optics becomes widely accessible and two EUV-photon absorption turns out to be routine.

Very recently a theoretical study was published on high-order parametric generation based on simultaneous generation of EUV and THz photons. THz photons are located in spectrum between the infrared and microwave radiation.
The goal of the project is to use the THz radiation to foster EUV parametric generation leading to amplification of the EUV.
The project consisted in building new experimental setups and understanding the results acquired. We have started the project using a HHG beamline located at ELI Beamlines, Czech Republic.

During the project, we have upgraded the EUV characterization scheme of the HHG beamline with respect to the project. We have upgraded and adapted the EUV generation cell and built and optimized THz detection setup. We have installed a THz generation line together with a separate THz test bench. Furthermore, our work included various smaller yet important upgrades to the HHG beamline that will expand our experimental toolbox or facilitate and accelerate data acquisition.

We have successfully generated and characterized both EUV and THz radiation. Together with our theoretician collaborator, we have advanced our understanding of the high-order parametric process, which we are about to publish in a impacted scientific journal.
We have also extended the state-of-the-art of the THz generation in plasma by using multi-cycle monocolor pulses which was not done before. We have also experimentally confirmed the existence of the high-order parametric process in the EUV regime.

From the technology point of view, we have pushed the state-of-the-art further with the novel geometry of the EUV spectrometer and the variable-length gas cell.

The work carried out extends the state-of-the-art of the THz radiation generation. As the THz radiation in general has recently become extremely promising in various fields of e.g. security, industry and research, it addresses the societal needs.
Moreover, the amplification of the EUV radiation can find important use in EUV lithography, cutting edge technique used e.g. by computer chip makers. As such, it has a potential to be an important tool enabling the continuation of the Moore’s law.