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Ultrafast fiber lasers for strong-field physics experiments
The recent demonstration of rare-earth-doped fiber lasers with a continuous-wave output power approaching the 10-kW level with diffraction-limited beam quality proves that fiber lasers constitute a scalable solid-state laser concept in terms of average power. In order to generate high peak power pulses from a fiber several fundamental limitations have to be overcome. This can be achieved by novel experimental strategies and fiber designs that offer an enormous potential towards ultrafast laser systems combining high average powers (> kW) and high peak power (> GW). In this paper the challenges, achievements and perspectives of ultrashort pulse generation and amplification in fibers are reviewed. This kind of laser system will have a tremendous impact on strong-field physics experiments, such as the generation of coherent light by high-harmonic generation. So far, applications in the interesting EUV spectral range suffer from the very low photon count leading to nonrelevantintegration times with highly sophisticated detection schemes. High repetition rate high average power fiber lasers can potentially solve this issue. First demonstrations of high repetition-rate strong-field physics experiments using novel fiber laser systems will be discussed.