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High power femtosecond amplifier system for THz science,coherent soft x-ray generation, imaging applications and seeding of a Free Electron Laser

English title High power femtosecond amplifier system for THz science, coherent soft x-ray generation, imaging applications and seeding of a Free Electron Laser
Applicant Hauri Christoph
Number 133840
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution Paul Scherrer Institut
Institution of higher education Paul Scherrer Institute - PSI
Main discipline Other disciplines of Physics
Start/End 01.03.2011 - 30.09.2012
Approved amount 460'000.00
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Keywords (7)

High-order Harmonic generation; few-cycle pulse generation; coherent imaging in water window; seeding; THz science; x-ray streak camera; phase-matching techniques for HHG

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Our current research objectives require the development of powerful and table-top laser sources emitting single-cycle pulses in the THz spectral region (0.1-10 THz) as well as femtosecond radiation in the soft x-ray range down to the water window (2.4- 4.2 nm). Intriguing applications of such sources are the initiation and study of ultrafast magnetization dynamics, coherent soft x-ray imaging of (biological) samples, and seeding of a Free Electron Laser (FEL) for coherent high-power x-ray femtosecond pulses. Compact laser-based sources delivering either THz or soft x-ray radiation have been developed in the past and have become established research tools in science. Here, we propose to combine these two sources. This requires a powerful amplifier system. A perfect synchronization of THz and soft x-ray pulse (since intrinsically locked) is best suited for time-resolved spectroscopy with an (x-ray/THz) pump/(x-ray/THz) probe, for example, and would furthermore open novel applications in accelerator physics such as the temporal characterization of a seeded x-ray FEL pulse by a novel type of THz streak camera.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Intense, carrier frequency and bandwidth tunable quasi single-cycle pulses from an organic emitter covering the Terahertz frequency gap.
Vicario C, Monoszlai B, Jazbinsek M, Lee S-H, Kwon O-P, Hauri C P (2015), Intense, carrier frequency and bandwidth tunable quasi single-cycle pulses from an organic emitter covering the Terahertz frequency gap., in Scientific reports, 5, 14394-14394.
Laser arrival measurement tools for SwissFEL
Divall Marta, Romann Albert, Mutter Patrick, Hunziker Stephan, Hauri Christoph (2015), Laser arrival measurement tools for SwissFEL, in Proc. SPIE, 9512, 95121T.
Measurements of intrinsic emittance dependence on rf field for copper photocathodes
Hauri Christoph, Ganter Romain, Le Pimpec Frederic, Trisorio Alexandre, Braun Hans Heinrich, Divall Marta, Schietinger Thomas (2015), Measurements of intrinsic emittance dependence on rf field for copper photocathodes, in Phys. Rev. ST Acell. Beams, 18, 063401.
Towards enabling femtosecond helicity-dependent spectroscopy with high-harmonic sources.
Lambert Guillaume, Vodungbo Boris, Gautier Julien, Mahieu Boris, Malka Victor, Sebban Sebastian, Zeitoun Philippe, Luning Jan, Perron J., Andreev A., Stremoukhov S., Ardana-Lamas Fernando, Dax Andreas, Hauri Christoph, Sardinha A., Fajardo M. (2015), Towards enabling femtosecond helicity-dependent spectroscopy with high-harmonic sources., in Nature Commun., 6167.
Intense sub-two-cycle infrared pulse generation via phase-mismatched cascaded nonlinear interaction in DAST crystal
Trisorio Alexandre, Divall Marta, Monoszlai Balazs, Vicario Carlo, Hauri Christoph (2014), Intense sub-two-cycle infrared pulse generation via phase-mismatched cascaded nonlinear interaction in DAST crystal, in Opt. Letters, 2660.
Off-resonant magnetization dynamics phase-locked to an intense phase-stable terahertz transient
Vicario Carlo, Ruchert Clemens, Ardana-Lamas Fernando, Derlet Peter, Tudu B., Luning Jan, Hauri Christoph (2013), Off-resonant magnetization dynamics phase-locked to an intense phase-stable terahertz transient, in Nature Photonics, 7, 720.
Spatiotemporal focusing dynamics of intense supercontinuum THz pulses.
Ruchert Clemens, Vicario Carlo, Hauri Christoph (2013), Spatiotemporal focusing dynamics of intense supercontinuum THz pulses., in Phys. Rev. Lett, 110, 123902.
Scaling submillimeter single-cycle transients toward megavolts per centimeter field strength via optical rectification in the organic crystal OH1.
Ruchert Clemens, Vicario Carlo, Hauri Christoph P (2012), Scaling submillimeter single-cycle transients toward megavolts per centimeter field strength via optical rectification in the organic crystal OH1., in Optics letters, 37(5), 899-901.

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
128763 Intense mid-infrared femtosecond radiation for the realization of a coherent soft x-ray source 01.02.2010 R'EQUIP
128493 Table-top coherent soft x-ray source for microscopy in the water window and for seeding a free electron laser 01.05.2010 SNSF Professorships
146769 Laser-based high-field Terahertz source for time-resolved study of matter and hard x-ray pulses 01.10.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Our current research objectives require the development of powerful and table-top laser sources emitting single-cycle pulses in the THz spectral region (0.1-10 THz) as well as femtosecond radiation in the soft x-ray range down to the water window (2.4- 4.2 nm). Intriguing applications of such sources are the initiation of ultrafast magnetization dynamics by THz, coherent soft x-ray imaging of (biological) samples at unprecedented high contrast, and seeding of a Free Electron Laser (FEL).Compact laser-based sources delivering either THz or soft x-ray radiation have been developed in the past and have become established research tools in science. Here, we propose to combine these two sources. This requires a powerful amplifier system. A laser source offering powerful THz and powerful coherent soft x-rays pulses synchroneously is presently not available but offers intriguing advantages. The perfect synchronization of THz and soft x-ray pulse (since intrinsically locked) is best suited for time-resolved spectroscopy with an (x-ray/THz) pump/(x-ray/THz) probe, for example, and would furthermore open novel applications in accelerator physics such as the temporal characterization of a seeded x-ray FEL pulse by a novel type of THz streak camera. For this scheme to work the HHG seed and the THz streaking field needs to be well synchronized within <50 femtoseconds, which is hard to achieve for two independent amplifier sources. Up to present a laser system providing both powerful THz and coherent soft x-rays as proposed here has not been developed to our knowledge. For realizing such a two-colour source a powerful amplifier system is required to drive synchroneously the highly nonlinear HHG frequency conversion schemes for soft x-ray production and, in addition, the THz generation. The presently used amplifier system at PSI is too weak to drive both conversion schemes synchroneously. In addition this laser system will be available less and less in near future since it is dedicated to drive the electron gun of the test injector for SwissFEL. In fact, the construction of this test injector is finishing soon and commissioning has already started.We therefore propose the purchase of a dedicated powerful femtosecond amplifier system to advance the development and applications of a table-top source emitting coherent soft x-ray and powerful THz radiation. Such a new amplifier system is the key element in our effort to develop a unique source for pump-probe experiments with coherent soft x-rays and THz which in addition enables novel applications in accelerator and FEL physics. Furthermore, the development of a HHG source in the water window spectral region providing enough flux and peak-power for real-world applications (e.g. coherent imaging or seeding an FEL) claims for exploration of novel types of phase-matching techniques. A promising candidate for enhanced efficiency of HHG is based on counter-propagating beams. To turn these techniques into a success the laser performance needs to be significantly beyond what is available from the present laser system. Finally, the presence of a dedicated high-power amplifier system would give us the opportunity to advance our research activities without the severe constraints regarding laser beam time. Access to a state of the art laser system is essential for the two PhD students and two postdocs funded by SNF and PSI to achieve their challenging scientific goals and to keep us at the forefront of science.
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