Publications by Adam Wyatt

Spectral Interferometry for the Complete Characterisation of Near Infrared Femtosecond and Extreme Ultraviolet Attosecond Pulses


AS Wyatt

This thesis describes methods for using spectral interferometry for the complete space-time characterisation of few-cycle near-infrared femtosecond pulses and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) attosecond pulses produced via high harmonic generation (HHG). Few-cycle pulses tend to exhibit one or more of the following: (1) an octave-spanning bandwidth, (2) a highly modulated spectrum and (3) space-time coupling. These characteristics, coupled with the desire to measure them in a single-shot (to characterise shot-to-shot fluctuations) and in real-time (for online optimisation and control) causes problems for conventional characterisation techniques. The first half of this thesis describes a method, based on a spatially encoded arrangement for spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction (SEA-SPIDER). SEA-SPIDER is demonstrated for sub-10\,fs pulses with a central wavelength near 800\,nm, a bandwidth over 350\,nm, and a pulse energy of several nano-Joules. In addition, the pulses exhibit a modulated spectrum and space-time coupling. The spatially-dependent temporal intensity of the pulse is reconstructed and compared to other techniques: interferometric frequency-resolved optical gating (IFROG) and spectral phase interferometry for direct electric field reconstruction (SPIDER). SEA-SPIDER will prove useful in both femtoscience, which requires accurate knowledge of the space-time character of few-cycle pulses, and in HHG, which requires the precise knowledge of the driving pulse for seeding into simulations and controlling the generation process itself. Pulses arising from HHG are known to exhibit significant space-time coupling. The second half of this thesis describes how spectral interferometry may be performed to obtain the complete space-time nature of these fields via the use of lateral shearing interferometry. Finally, it is shown, via numerical simulations, how to extend the SPIDER technique for temporal characterisation of XUV pulses from HHG by driving the process with two spectrally-sheared driving pulses. Different experimental configurations and their applicability to different laser systems are discussed. This method recovers the space-time nature of the harmonics in a single shot, thus reducing the stability constraint currently required for photoelectron based techniques and may serve as a complimentary method for studying interactions of XUV attosecond pulses with matter.

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