Attosecond science, ultrafast lasers, high harmonic generation


Attosecond pulses have been developed as a means for investigating phenomena that proceed on the order of the atomic unit of time (24 as). Unfortunately, these extreme ultraviolet (XUV) pulses by themselves contain too few photons to initiate nonlinear dynamics or dress states in an attosecond pump--attosecond probe scheme. As a result, most attosecond experiments thus far have featured complementary near infrared (NIR) femtosecond lasers for instigating electron dynamics. In order to access the benefits of all-attosecond measurements and open attosecond physics to new fields of exploration, the photon flux of these pulses must be increased. One way to boost the attosecond pulse energy is to scale up the energy of the NIR pulse responsible for driving high-harmonic generation (HHG). With generalized double optical gating (GDOG), isolated attosecond pulses can be generated with multi-cycle laser systems, wherein the pulse energy can be boosted more easily than in the few-cycle laser systems required by other gating methods. At the Institute for the Frontier of Attosecond Science and Technology (IFAST), this scalability was demonstrated using a 350 mJ, 15 fs (10 TW) Ti:sapphire laser, which was used to generate a 100 nJ XUV continuum. This represented an order-of-magnitude improvement over typical attosecond pulse energies achievable by millijoule-level few-cycle lasers. To obtain the microjoule-level attosecond pulse energy required for performing all-attosecond experiments, the attosecond flux generated by the IFAST 10 TW system was still deficient by an order of magnitude. To this end, the laser system was upgraded to provide joule-level output energies while maintaining pulse compression to 15 fs, with a targeted peak power of 200 TW. This was accomplished by adding an additional Ti:sapphire amplifier to the existing 10 TW system and implementing a new pulse compression system to accommodate the higher pulse energy. Because this system operated at a 10 Hz repetition rate, stabilization of the carrier-envelope phase (CEP) -- important for controlling attosecond pulse production -- could not be achieved using traditional methods. Therefore, a new scheme was developed, demonstrating the first-ever control of CEP in a chirped-pulse amplifier (CPA) at low repetition rates. Finally, a new variation of optical gating was proposed as a way to improve the efficiency of the attosecond pulse generation process. This method was also predicted to allow for the generation of isolated attosecond pulses with longer driving laser pulses, as well as the extension of the high-energy photon cut-off of the XUV continuum.


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Graduation Date





Chang, Zenghu


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Optics and Photonics


Optics and Photonics

Degree Program

Optics and Photonics








Release Date

December 2018

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Optics and Photonics; Optics and Photonics -- Dissertations, Academic