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Title: Generation and application of ultrashort laser pulses in attosecond science
Author: Frank, Felix
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 5342
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2011
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In this thesis, I describe the development of a sub-4 fs few-cycle laser system at Imperial College London used to generate and characterise the first single attosecond (1 as = 10-18s) pulses in the UK. Phase-stabilised few-cycle laser pulses were generated using a hollow fibre system with a chirped mirror compression setup. The pulse was fully characterised using frequency-resolved optical gating (FROG) and spectral phase interferometry for direct electric field reconstruction in a spatially encoded filter arrangement (SEA-F-SPIDER). A pulse duration of 3.5 fs was measured with an argon filled hollow fibre. These phase stabilised Infra-Red (IR) pulses were used to generate a continuous spectrum of high harmonics in the Extreme Ultraviolet (XUV) originating from a single half-cycle of the driving field. Using subsequent spectral filtering, a single attosecond pulse was generated. The isolated XUV pulse was characterised using an atomic streaking camera and a pulse duration of ~260 as was retrieved using FROG for complete reconstruction of attosecond bursts (FROG-CRAB). In an experiment conducted at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, high harmonics were generated using a two-colour field with an energetic beam at 1300nm and a weak second harmonic orthogonally polarized to the fundamental. By changing the phase between the two fields, a deep modulation of the harmonic yield is seen and an enhancement of one order of magnitude compared to the single colour field with the same energy is observed.
Supervisor: Tisch, John ; Marangos, Jonathan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral