High harmonic interferometry of the Lorentz force in strong mid-infrared laser fields

6 Jun 2016  ·  Emilio Pisanty, Daniel D. Hickstein, Benjamin R. Galloway, Charles G. Durfee, Henry C. Kapteyn, Margaret M. Murnane, Misha Ivanov ·

The interaction of intense mid-infrared laser fields with atoms and molecules leads to a range of new opportunities, from the production of bright, coherent radiation in the soft x-ray range to imaging molecular structures and dynamics with attosecond temporal and sub-angstrom spatial resolution. However, all these effects, which rely on laser-driven recollision of an electron removed by the strong laser field and the parent ion, suffer from the rapidly increasing role of the magnetic field component of the driving pulse: the associated Lorentz force pushes the electrons off course in their excursion and suppresses all recollision-based processes, including high harmonic generation, elastic and inelastic scattering... Here we show how the use of two non-collinear beams with opposite circular polarizations produces a forwards ellipticity which can be used to monitor, control, and cancel the effect of the Lorentz force. This arrangement can thus be used to re-enable recollision-based phenomena in regimes beyond the long-wavelength breakdown of the dipole approximation, and it can be used to observe this breakdown in high-harmonic generation using currently-available light sources. read more

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