Multi-millijoule few-cycle mid-infrared pulses through nonlinear self-compression in bulk

Shumakova, V., Malevich, P., Ališauskas, S., Voronin, A., Zheltikov, A.M., Faccio, D. , Kartashov, D., Baltuška, A. and Pugžlys, A. (2016) Multi-millijoule few-cycle mid-infrared pulses through nonlinear self-compression in bulk. Nature Communications, 7, 12877. (doi:10.1038/ncomms12877) (PMID:27620117) (PMCID:PMC5027276)

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Abstract

The physics of strong-field applications requires driver laser pulses that are both energetic and extremely short. Whereas optical amplifiers, laser and parametric, boost the energy, their gain bandwidth restricts the attainable pulse duration, requiring additional nonlinear spectral broadening to enable few or even single cycle compression and a corresponding peak power increase. Here we demonstrate, in the mid-infrared wavelength range that is important for scaling the ponderomotive energy in strong-field interactions, a simple energy-efficient and scalable soliton-like pulse compression in a mm-long yttrium aluminium garnet crystal with no additional dispersion management. Sub-three-cycle pulses with >0.44 TW peak power are compressed and extracted before the onset of modulation instability and multiple filamentation as a result of a favourable interplay between strong anomalous dispersion and optical nonlinearity around the wavelength of 3.9 μm. As a manifestation of the increased peak power, we show the evidence of mid-infrared pulse filamentation in atmospheric air.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:These studies were supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) via the SFB NextLite F4903-N23 and project P 26658. Research of A.V. and A.M.Z. was supported in part by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project nos. 14-29-07182, 14-22-02105, 16-02- 00843 and 16-32-60164), the Russian Science Foundation (project no. 14-12-00772), the Welch Foundation (grant no. A-1801) and ONR (award no. 00014-16-1-2578).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Faccio, Professor Daniele
Authors: Shumakova, V., Malevich, P., Ališauskas, S., Voronin, A., Zheltikov, A.M., Faccio, D., Kartashov, D., Baltuška, A., and Pugžlys, A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Published Online:13 September 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Author
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 7:12877
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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