Abstract: Many applications of the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) radiation obtained by high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases require a small focus area in order to enable attosecond pulses to reach a high intensity. Here, high-order harmonics generated in Ar with a multiterawatt laser system in a loose focusing geometry are focused to a few micrometers using two toroidal mirrors in a Wolter configuration with a high demagnification factor. Using a knife-edge measurement technique, we determine the position and size of the XUV foci as a function of harmonic order. We show that the focus properties vary with harmonic order and the generation conditions. Simulations, based on a classical description of the harmonic dipole phase and assuming that the individual harmonics can be described as Gaussian beams, reproduce the experimental behavior. We discuss how the generation geometry affects the intensity and duration of the focused attosecond pulses.
Abstract: High harmonic generation (HHG) from solids shows great application prospects in compact short-wavelength light sources and as a tool for imaging the dynamics in crystals with subnanometer spatial and attosecond temporal resolution. However, the underlying collision dynamics behind solid HHG is still intensively debated and no direct mapping relationship between the collision dynamics with band structure has been built. Here, we show that the electron and its associated hole can be elastically scattered by neighboring atoms when their wavelength approaches the atomic size. We reveal that the elastic scattering of electron/hole from neighboring atoms can dramatically influence the electron recombination with its left-behind hole, which turns out to be the fundamental reason for the anisotropic interband HHG observed recently in bulk crystals. Our findings link the electron/hole backward scattering with Van Hove singularities and forward scattering with critical lines in the band structure and thus build a clear mapping between the band structure and the harmonic spectrum. Our work provides a unifying picture for several seemingly unrelated experimental observations and theoretical predictions, including the anisotropic harmonic emission in MgO, the atomic-like recollision mechanism of solid HHG, and the delocalization of HHG in ZnO. This strongly improved understanding will pave the way for controlling the solid-state HHG and visualizing the structure-dependent electron dynamics in solids.
Abstract: As a noncontact strategy with flexible tools and high efficiency, laser precision engineering is a significant advanced processing way for high-quality micro-/nanostructure fabrication, especially to achieve novel functional photoelectric structures and devices. For the microscale creation, several femtosecond laser fabrication methods, including multiphoton absorption, laser-induced plasma-assisted ablation, and incubation effect have been developed. Meanwhile, the femtosecond laser can be combined with microlens arrays and interference lithography techniques to achieve the structures in submicron scales. Down to nanoscale feature sizes, advanced processing strategies, such as near-field scanning optical microscope, atomic force microscope, and microsphere, are applied in femtosecond laser processing and the minimum nanostructure creation has been pushed down to ~25 nm due to near-field effect. The most fascinating femtosecond laser precision engineering is the possibility of large-area, high-throughput, and far-field nanofabrication. In combination with special strategies, including dual femtosecond laser beam irradiation, ~15 nm nanostructuring can be achieved directly on silicon surfaces in far field and in ambient air. The challenges and perspectives in the femtosecond laser precision engineering are also discussed.