2021 Vol. 2021, No. 4

Display Method:
Review Article
Theoretical Insights into Ultrafast Dynamics in Quantum Materials
Mengxue Guan, Daqiang Chen, Shiqi Hu, Hui Zhao, Peiwei You, Sheng Meng
2021, 2021(4) doi: 10.34133/2022/9767251

The last few decades have witnessed the extraordinary advances in theoretical and experimental tools, which have enabled the manipulation and monitoring of ultrafast dynamics with high precisions. For modeling dynamical responses beyond the perturbative regime, computational methods based on time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) are the optimal choices. Here, we introduce TDAP (time-dependent ab initio propagation), a first-principle approach that is aimed at providing robust dynamic simulations of light-induced, highly nonlinear phenomena by real-time calculation of combined photonic, electronic, and ionic quantum mechanical effects within a TDDFT framework. We review the implementation of real-time TDDFT with numerical atomic orbital formalisms, which has enabled high-accuracy, large-scale simulations with moderate computational cost. The newly added features, i.e., the time-dependent electric field gauges and controllable ionic motion make the method especially suitable for investigating ultrafast electron-nuclear dynamics in complex periodic and semiperiodic systems. An overview of the capabilities of this first-principle method is provided by showcasing several representative applications including high-harmonic generation, tunable phase transitions, and new emergent states of matter. The method demonstrates a great potential in obtaining a predictive and comprehensive understanding of quantum dynamics and interactions in a wide range of materials at the atomic and attosecond space-time scale.

Nature-Inspired Superwettability Achieved by Femtosecond Lasers
Jiale Yong, Qing Yang, Xun Hou, Feng Chen
2021, 2021(4) doi: 10.34133/2022/9895418

Wettability is one of a solid surface’s fundamental physical and chemical properties, which involves a wide range of applications. Femtosecond laser microfabrication has many advantages compared to traditional laser processing. This technology has been successfully applied to control the wettability of material surfaces. This review systematically summarizes the recent progress of femtosecond laser microfabrication in the preparation of various superwetting surfaces. Inspired by nature, the superwettabilities such as superhydrophilicity, superhydrophobicity, superamphiphobicity, underwater superoleophobicity, underwater superaerophobicity, underwater superaerophilicity, slippery liquid-infused porous surface, underwater superpolymphobicity, and supermetalphobicity are obtained on different substrates by the combination of the femtosecond laser-induced micro/nanostructures and appropriate chemical composition. From the perspective of biomimetic preparation, we mainly focus the methods for constructing various kinds of superwetting surfaces by femtosecond laser and the relationship between different laser-induced superwettabilities. The special wettability of solid materials makes the femtosecond laser-functionalized surfaces have many practical applications. Finally, the significant challenges and prospects of this field (femtosecond laser-induced superwettability) are discussed.

Research Article
Distributed Kerr Lens Mode-Locked Yb:YAG Thin-Disk Oscillator
Jinwei Zhang, Markus Pӧtzlberger, Qing Wang, Jonathan Brons, Marcus Seidel, Dominik Bauer, Dirk Sutter, Vladimir Pervak, Alexander Apolonski, Ka Fai Mak, Vladimir Kalashnikov, Zhiyi Wei, Ferenc Krausz, Oleg Pronin
2021, 2021(4) doi: 10.34133/2022/9837892

Ultrafast laser oscillators are indispensable tools for diverse applications in scientific research and industry. When the phases of the longitudinal laser cavity modes are locked, pulses as short as a few femtoseconds can be generated. As most high-power oscillators are based on narrow-bandwidth materials, the achievable duration for high-power output is usually limited. Here, we present a distributed Kerr lens mode-locked Yb:YAG thin-disk oscillator which generates sub-50 fs pulses with spectral widths far broader than the emission bandwidth of the gain medium at full width at half maximum. Simulations were also carried out, indicating good qualitative agreement with the experimental results. Our proof-of-concept study shows that this new mode-locking technique is pulse energy and average power scalable and applicable to other types of gain media, which may lead to new records in the generation of ultrashort pulses.