Generation and metrology of ultrashort pulses and their application in attosecond science

Lana Neoricic

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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Abstract

This thesis deals with the dynamical processes in atoms and small molecules initiated by the absorption of ultrashort, coherent light pulses. The studied phenomena take
place on the femtosecond (1 fs = 10−15 s) and attosecond (1 as = 10−18 s) timescales and critically depend on the properties of the light fields that drive them. We
work with infrared (IR) femtosecond laser pulses, which we manipulate through nonlinear interactions with matter to either study these interactions themselves or apply
them to investigate other light-induced processes.
One part of this thesis focuses on the generation and characterisation of IR pulses spectrally broadened through the Kerr effect. We use a technique called dispersion scan
to temporally compress and at the same time measure pulses broadened in gas-filled hollow-core fibres. We propose multiple improvements to this well-established characterisation technique. Further, we investigate femtosecond filamentation in gases, a process with highly complex dynamics involving several non-linear processes including the Kerr effect and ionisation. We develop a method that allows us to measure the electric field of a laser pulse undergoing filamentation in three dimensions, while
also scanning along the filament length. Our technique provides access to pulses with desirable characteristics that may be generated at a point inside the filament, simultaneously enabling their measurement and extraction for applications. In addition, this technique opens up the possibility to explore intricate filament dynamics.
In the other part of this work, we up-convert the IR laser pulses into trains of extreme ultraviolet (XUV) attosecond pulses through a non-linear process called high-order
harmonic generation. We combine the IR and XUV pulses to study the photoionisation dynamics in different species using a method known as RABBIT (Reconstruction
of Attosecond Beating By Interference of Two-photon transitions). In this technique, a target gas is ionised by the XUV field, creating an electron wave-paket (EWP) in the
continuum, while a weak IR pulse probes the system. The EWP scatters off the ionic potential, acquiring an additional phase as it propagates. Recording the photoelectron
spectrum as a function of the IR-XUV time delay allows us to infer time-resolved information about the ionic potential. We apply this method to investigate the dynamics
of different ionisation processes in noble gases (He, Ar, and Xe) and the N2 molecule. The high spectral resolution of our electron spectrometer allows us to disentangle
the contributions from different ionisation channels. In addition, we perform angle-resolved measurements, investigating the coherent superposition of final states
with different angular momenta.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Arnold, Cord, Supervisor
  • L'huillier, Anne, Supervisor
  • Varju, Katalin, Supervisor, External person
Award date2022 Jun 10
Publisher
ISBN (Print)978-91-8039-274-7
ISBN (electronic) 978-91-8039-273-0
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Defence details
Date: 2022-06-10
Time: 09:15
Place: Lecture Hall Rydbergsalen, Department of Physics, Professorsgatan 1, Faculty of Engineering LTH, Lund University, Lund.
Zoom: https://luse.zoom.us/j/65733268348?pwd=enNSR1hvcDVmK1dWNWIwR0hlU1RoZz09 Webinar ID: 657 3326 8348 Passcode: 196427
External reviewer(s)
Name: Lucchini, Matteo
Title: Assistant Prof.
Affiliation: Politecnico di Milano , Italy.
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Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics

Keywords

  • ultrashort
  • filamentation
  • femtosecond
  • dispersion scan
  • RABBIT
  • photoionisation
  • attosecond
  • interferometry
  • pump-probe
  • spectroscopy
  • photoelectron
  • wavepacket
  • Fysicumarkivet A:2022:Neoricic

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