Roadmap on ultrafast optics

Derryck T Reid, Christoph M Heyl, Robert R Thomson, Rick Trebino, Günter Steinmeyer, Helen H Fielding, Ronald Holzwarth, Zhigang Zhang, Pascal Del'Haye, Thomas Südmeyer, Gérard Mourou, Toshiki Tajima (+3 others)
2016 Journal of Optics  
The year 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of modern ultrafast optics, since the demonstration of the first Kerr lens modelocked Ti:sapphire laser in 1990 [a] heralded an explosion of scientific and engineering innovation. The impact of this disruptive technology extended well beyond the previous discipline boundaries of lasers, reaching into biology labs, manufacturing facilities, and even consumer healthcare and electronics. In recognition of such a milestone, this roadmap on Ultrafast Optics
more » ... raws together articles from some of the key opinion leaders in the field to provide a freeze-frame of the state-of-the-art, while also attempting to forecast the technical and scientific paradigms which will define the field over the next 25 years. While no roadmap can be fully comprehensive, the twelve articles here reflect the most exciting technical opportunities presented at the current time in Ultrafast Optics. Several articles examine the future landscape for ultrafast light sources, from practical solid-state/fibre lasers and Raman microresonators to exotic attosecond XUV and possibly even zeptosecond x-ray pulses. Others address the control and measurement challenges, requiring radical approaches to harness nonlinear effects such as filamentation and parametric generation, coupled with the question of how to most accurately characterise the field of ultrafast pulses simultaneously in space and time. Applications of ultrafast sources in materials processing, spectroscopy and time-resolved chemistry are also discussed, highlighting the improvements in performance possible by using lasers of higher peak power and repetition rate, or by exploiting the phase stability of emerging new frequency comb sources. [a] D. E. Spence, P. N. Kean, and W. Sibbett. "Sub-100fs Pulse Generation from a Self-Modelocked Titanium: Sapphire Laser." In Conference on Lasers and Electro-optics, CLEO, pp. 619-620. 1990. the XUV light, enabling optical microscopy in the XUV regime, where the shorter wavelength makes it possible to reach high spatial resolution (also discussed in section 5). Especially with the prospect of reaching the water-window (~2.3-4.4 nm), such approaches offer new possibilities for biological microscopy applications. However, the available photon flux of today's HHG-based XUV sources sets severe limitations [6]. Advances in Science and Technology to Meet Challenges Progress in attosecond spectroscopy or, more generally, for many applications employing HHG based XUV sources, has and still is intimately connected to advances in attosecond source development. Despite their remarkable properties, HHG-based XUV sources suffer from one main issue: the low photon flux available in the XUV which is mainly limited by two factors, the average power of fslaser systems and the conversion efficiency into the XUV. Both parameters are thus driving extensive development efforts. On the laser side, progress in optical parametric chirped pulse amplification technology is currently rapidly extending the available parameter regimes for laser-driven XUV sources (see also section 13). For HHG, strong efforts have been devoted to optimize the conversion into the XUV and to scale up the generated photon flux. However, the best values for gas-based HHG lie in the range of only 10 -5 (considering the conversion from a driving laser pulse centered at 800 nm into one harmonic order around 20 eV), typically decreasing with increasing driving wavelength and increasing photon energy. For IAPs, the conversion efficiency is even smaller. A promising but challenging scheme for high-flux HHG (at high repetition rates) is the generation of high harmonic radiation inside an optical cavity [7] and very recent attempts point towards the application of this scheme for IAP generation [8]. As an alternative to gas-based HHG sources, other schemes employing surface and solid state-based HHG [4], light field synthesis [9] and free-electron lasing are emerging as complementary technology, especially for high-flux ultra-short XUV pulses. M 2014 Time-resolved serial crystallography captures high-resolution intermediates of photoactive yellow protein Sci. 346 1242-6 [10]
doi:10.1088/2040-8978/18/9/093006 fatcat:4u2hd3qrvngkvcksm3m2jpjq4i