Optical parametric synthesis

Image: Balanced optical cross
correlator for adjusting timing
of the synthesizer

Here, we aim to produce ultra-broadband coherent pulses, which are of sub-cycle duration in time to control strong-field physics on an attosecond time scale.

The team produces some of the shortest optical pulses in the visible and infrared spectral range. The duration of the light events are less than one single optical cycle, i.e. one single oscillation of the electromagnetic field (femtosecond, or 10-15 seconds). To obtain such extreme pulses, we synthesize in time and space self-made phase-stabilized few-cycle optical parametric amplifiers at different wavelength ranges obtained from ultrafast pump lasers [1-3]. Often, we build the pump lasers together with the Solid state lasers team. By gaining full control of the optical field over more than two spectral octaves, i.e. on a sub-cycle time scale, high energies, high repetition rates opens the new era of optical waveform electronics.

Image: Bounces off chirped mirrors to
compress pulses of the synthesizer

Together with the Attosecond science team at UFOX, we use our sources to unveil the secrets of natural processes like photosynthesis and combustion, observing molecules and electrons moving on their natural femtosecond and/or attosecond time scale. This will have high impact on science and technology, for example on efficient energy production. We collaborate with several groups within DESY, the University of Hamburg and MPSD, as well as with national and international groups all over the world.

Relevant references:
[1] G. M. Rossi et al., Sub-cycle millijoule-level parametric waveform synthesizer for attosecond science, Nature Photonics 2020.
[2] G. M. Rossi et al., CEP dependence of Signal and Idler upon Pump-Seed synchronization in optical parametric amplifiers Optics Letters. (2018)
[3] G. Cirmi et al., Novel method for the angular chirp compensation of passively CEP-stable few-cycle pulses Optics Express. (2020)