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Coherent pulse synthesis: towards sub‐cycle optical waveforms

Abstract

The generation of sub‐optical‐cycle, carrier–envelope phase‐stable light pulses is one of the frontiers of ultrafast optics. The two key ingredients for sub‐cycle pulse generation are bandwidths substantially exceeding one octave and accurate control of the spectral phase. These requirements are very challenging to satisfy with a single laser beam, and thus intense research activity is currently devoted to the coherent synthesis of pulses generated by separate sources. In this review we discuss the conceptual schemes and experimental tools that can be employed for the generation, amplification, control, and combination of separate light pulses. The main techniques for the spectrotemporal characterization of the synthesized fields are also described. We discuss recent implementations of coherent waveform synthesis: from the first demonstration of a single‐cycle optical pulse by the addition of two pulse trains derived from a fiber laser, to the coherent combination of the outputs from optical parametric chirped‐pulse amplifiers.

The generation of sub‐cycle light waveforms is at the frontiers of optics: ultrashort waveform generation calls for broad bandwidth and tailored spectral phase; coherent synthesis of fields from separate sources promises to fulfill both challenges. In this review, the experimental tools for coherent waveform synthesis and characterization are discussed, and the most recent advances are presented.

Authors:   Cristian Manzoni, Oliver D. Mücke, Giovanni Cirmi, Shaobo Fang, Jeffrey Moses, Shu‐Wei Huang, Kyung‐Han Hong, Giulio Cerullo, Franz X. Kärtner
Journal:   Laser & Photonics Reviews
Year:   2015
Pages:   n/a
DOI:   10.1002/lpor.201400181
Publication date:   02-Jan-2015
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