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The current paradigm of isolated attosecond pulse production requires a few-cycle pulse as the driver for high-harmonic generation that has a cosine-like electric field stabilized with respect to the peak of the pulse envelope. Here, we present simulations and experimental evidence that the production of high-harmonic light can be restricted to one or a few cycles on the leading edge of a laser pulse by a gating mechanism that employs time-dependent ionization of the conversion medium. Thisdoi:10.1364/oe.15.017120 pmid:19551005 fatcat:nhdu5hivf5herijgfl562op4em