Generation, Characterization and Applications of Attosecond Pulses

Steve Gilbertson, Kansas State University

Abstract: Understanding ultrafast phenomena with attosecond (10-18s) temporal resolution is important for the study of electron dynamics in atomic, molecular and condensed matter systems. The efficient generation of true isolated pulses with well known durations is therefore critical to studying such systems. In this talk, I will discuss our method for producing and characterizing single attosecond pulses with high flux from long driving lasers (~8-10 fs). The method, dubbed "double optical gating" (DOG), is a combination of polarization gating and two color gating and greatly relaxes the requirements on the generating laser pulses. I will also discuss how this method can be extended for the production of attosecond pulses directly from laser amplifiers without a secondary pulse shortening technique. Finally, I will discuss our results in applying the pulses in a pump-probe configuration to atomic experiments. This has allowed us to deduce temporal information on the electron dynamics in helium with attosecond precision.