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Propagation-assisted generation of intense few-femtosecond high-harmonic pulses

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posted on 2023-11-30, 19:29 authored by B. Major, M. Kretschmar, O. Ghafur, A. Hoffmann, K. Kovács, K. Varjú, B. Senfftleben, J. Tümmler, I. Will, T. Nagy, D. Rupp, M. J. J. Vrakking, V. Tosa, B. Schütte
The ongoing development of intense high-harmonic generation (HHG) sources has recently enabled highly nonlinear ionization of atoms by the absorption of at least 10 extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) photons within a single atom [Senfftleben \textit{et al.}, arXiv1911.01375]. Here we investigate the role that reshaping of the fundamental, few-cycle, near-infrared (NIR) driving laser within the 30-cm-long HHG Xe medium plays in the generation of the intense HHG pulses. Using an incident NIR intensity that is higher than what is required for phase-matched HHG, signatures of reshaping are found by measuring the NIR blueshift and the fluorescence from the HHG medium along the propagation axis. These results are well reproduced by numerical calculations that show temporal compression of the NIR pulses in the HHG medium. The simulations predict that after refocusing an XUV beam waist radius of 320 nm and a clean attosecond pulse train can be obtained in the focal plane, with an estimated XUV peak intensity of 9x10^15 W/cm^2. Our results show that XUV intensities that were previously only available at large-scale facilities can now be obtained using moderately powerful table-top light sources.

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