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

Valentina Shumakova, Pavel Malevich, S. Ališauskas, Alexander Voronin, Alexander Zheltikov, Daniele Franco Angelo Faccio, Daniil Kartashov, Andrius Baltuska, Audrius Pugzlys

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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 40.44TW 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 mm. As a manifestation of the increased peak power, we show the evidence of mid-infrared pulse filamentation in atmospheric air.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12877
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2016

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    Shumakova, V., Malevich, P., Ališauskas, S., Voronin, A., Zheltikov, A., Faccio, D. F. A., Kartashov, D., Baltuska, A., & Pugzlys, A. (2016). Multi-millijoule few-cycle mid-infrared pulses through nonlinear self-compression in bulk. Nature Communications, 7, [12877]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12877