Publications associated with Ultrafast quantum optics and optical metrology

Attosecond sampling of arbitrary optical waveforms

Optica Optical Society 3 (2016) 303-310

A Wyatt, T Witting, A Schiavi, D Fabris, P Matia-Hernando, IA Walmsley, JP Marangos, JWG Tisch

Advances in the generation of ultrashort laser pulses, and the emergence of new research areas such as attosecond science, nanoplasmonics, coherent control, and multidimensional spectroscopy, have led to the need for a new class of ultrafast metrology that can measure the electric field of complex optical waveforms spanning the ultraviolet to the infrared. Important examples of such waveforms are those produced by spectral control of ultrabroad bandwidth pulses, or by Fourier synthesis. These are typically tailored for specific purposes, such as to increase the photon energy and flux of high-harmonic radiation, or to control dynamical processes by steering electron dynamics on subcycle time scales. These applications demand a knowledge of the full temporal evolution of the field. Conventional pulse measurement techniques that provide estimates of the relative temporal or spectral phase are unsuited to measure such waveforms. Here we experimentally demonstrate a new, all-optical method for directly measuring the electric field of arbitrary ultrafast optical waveforms. Our method is based on high-harmonic generation (HHG) driven by a field that is the collinear superposition of the waveform to be measured with a stronger probe laser pulse. As the delay between the pulses is varied, we show that the field of the unknown waveform is mapped to energy shifts in the high-harmonic spectrum, allowing a direct, accurate, and rapid retrieval of the electric field with subcycle temporal resolution at the location of the HHG.

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