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Title: Boosting the efficiency of high harmonic amplification by modulating a plasma-based X-ray laser with the second harmonic of the fundamental frequency laser field
Attosecond pulses formed by high order harmonics (HHs) of an infrared (IR) laser field is a powerful tool for studying and controlling ultrafast dynamics of electrons in atoms, molecules and solids at its intrinsic time-scale. However, in the X-ray range the energy of attosecond pulses is rather limited. Their amplification is an important but very challenging problem since none of the existing amplifiers can support the corresponding PHz bandwidth. In our previous work [1] we proposed a method for the attosecond pulse amplification in hydrogen-like active medium of a recombination plasma-based X-ray laser dressed by a replica of the fundamental frequency IR field used for the HH generation. Due to the IRfield-induced sub-laser-cycle Stark shift and splitting of the lasing energy levels the gain of the active medium is redistributed over the combination frequencies, separated from the resonance by even multiples of the frequency of the IR field. If the incident HHs forming an attosecond pulse train are tuned in resonance with the induced gain lines and the active plasma medium is strongly dispersive for the modulating IR field, then during the amplification the relative phases of harmonics and (under the optimal choice of the IR field strength) the shape of the amplified pulses will be preserved. In the present work we show the possibility of boosting the efficiency of HH amplification by modulating the active medium of an X-ray laser with the second harmonic of the fundamental frequency IR field. We show that under the action of a laser field (with arbitrary frequency) the gain redistribution occurs not only over the even combination frequencies discussed in [1], but also over the odd frequencies separated from the resonance by odd multiples of the laser frequency. Besides, nearly half of the medium gain is contained in the even induced gain lines, and nearly half in the odd. If the modulating field is the second harmonic of the IR field, used for the generation the HHs and attosecond pulses, then the seeding HHs can be tuned in resonance with both even and odd gain lines simultaneously, which will make the overall gain much higher as compared to the previously considered case of the fundamental frequency modulating field (when only the even gain lines play the role). By the example of the C5+ X-ray laser with 3.38 nm wavelength of the inverted transition we show the possibility of increasing the efficiency of 430 as pulse amplification by 8.5 times when the active medium is modulated with the second harmonic of the fundamental frequency IR field with wavelength 2.1 µm.  more » « less
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International conference on Ultrafast Optical Science
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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