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Towards isolated attosecond pulses at megahertz repetition rates

: Krebs, Manuel; Hädrich, Steffen; Demmler, Stefan; Rothhardt, Jan; Zaïr, Amelle; Chipperfield, Luke; Limpert, Jens; Tünnermann, Andreas


Nature photonics 7 (2013), No.7, pp.555-559
ISSN: 1749-4885
ISSN: 1749-4893
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IOF ()
nonlinear optics; ultrafast photonics

The strong-field process of high-harmonic generation is the foundation for generating isolated attosecond pulses, which are the fastest controllable events ever induced. This coherent extreme-ultraviolet radiation has become an indispensable tool for resolving ultrafast motion in atoms and molecules. Despite numerous spectacular developments in the new field of attoscience, the low data-acquisition rates imposed by low-repetition-rate (maximum of 3 kHz) laser systems hamper the advancement of these sophisticated experiments. Consequently, the availability of high-repetition-rate sources will overcome a major obstacle in this young field. Here, we present the first megahertz-level source of extreme-ultraviolet continua with evidence of isolated attosecond pulses using a fibre laser-pumped optical parametric amplifier for high-harmonic generation at 0.6 MHz. This 200-fold increase in repetition rate will enable and promote a vast variety of new applications, such as attosecond-resolution coincidence and photoelectron spectroscopy, or even video-rate acquisition for spatially resolved pump-probe measurements.