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Chiral high-harmonic generation and spectroscopy on solid surfaces using polarization-tailored strong fields

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posted on 2023-11-30, 20:44 authored by Tobias Heinrich, Marco Taucer, Ofer Kfir, P. B. Corkum, André Staudte, Claus Ropers, Murat Sivis
Strong-field methods in solids enable new strategies for ultrafast nonlinear spectroscopy and provide all-optical insights into the electronic properties of condensed matter in reciprocal and real space. Additionally, solid-state media offers unprecedented possibilities to control high-harmonic generation using modified targets or tailored excitation fields. Here we merge these important points and demonstrate circularly-polarized high-harmonic generation with polarization-matched excitation fields for spectroscopy of chiral electronic properties at surfaces. The sensitivity of our approach is demonstrated for structural helicity and termination-mediated ferromagnetic order at the surface of silicon-dioxide and magnesium oxide, respectively. Circularly polarized radiation emanating from a solid sample now allows to add basic symmetry properties as chirality to the arsenal of strong-field spectroscopy in solids. Together with its inherent temporal (femtosecond) resolution and non-resonant broadband spectrum, the polarization control of high harmonics from condensed matter can illuminate ultrafast and strong field dynamics of surfaces, buried layers or thin films.

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