Research Index / Attosecond Research
Faculty: Gerard Mourou - John Nees - Bixue Hou - Anatoly Maksimchuk - Victor Yanovsky
Research Fellow: Natalia Naumova
Collaborator: Igor Sokolov
Graduate Student: Erik Power
Pioneered at CUOS, the program of Relativistic Nonlinear Optics in the λ3 Regime (where optical pulse energy is focused to a volume of a few cubic wavelengths) has initiated research into new possibilities and applications of light at its extreme limit of concentration.
A very natural scheme for generation of isolated attosecond pulses was discovered in 2003. Based only on relativistic coherent motion of electrons, which deflect the incident laser pulse at each half-cycle into different directions and compress the radiation, this scheme gives the expectation of obtaining 10 % efficiency for attosecond pulse formation. In general, the short pulse formation occurs whenever relativistically strong laser pulses interact with near-critical or overcritical plasmas, but, more responsive plasmas act more efficiently.
Further studying the details of laser-plasma interaction in the λ3 regime, we have also discovered that attosecond electron bunches as well can be generated under similar conditions. These dense electron bunches can provide a path to near-unity conversion efficiency of the counterpropagating radiation to coherent x-rays.
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