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  1. 3.2-mJ, 92-fs pulses centered at 3.1 µm are generated at a 1-kHz repetition rate through a tabletop optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA) system based on ZnGeP2crystals. Pumped by a 2-µm chirped pulse amplifier with a flat-top beam profile, the amplifier achieves a 16.5% overall efficiency, which, to the best of our knowledge, is the highest efficiency achieved by OPCPA at this wavelength. Harmonics up to the seventh order are observed after focusing the output in the air.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 15, 2023
  2. The advent of chirped-pulse amplification in the 1980s and femtosecond Ti:sapphire lasers in the 1990s enabled transformative advances in intense laser–matter interaction physics. Whereas most of experiments have been conducted in the limited near-infrared range of 0.8–1 μm, theories predict that many physical phenomena such as high harmonic generation in gases favor long laser wavelengths in terms of extending the high-energy cutoff. Significant progress has been made in developing few-cycle, carrier-envelope phase-stabilized, high-peak-power lasers in the 1.6–2 μm range that has laid the foundation for attosecond X ray sources in the water window. Even longer wavelength lasers are becoming available that are suitable to study light filamentation, high harmonic generation, and laser–plasma interaction in the relativistic regime. Long-wavelength lasers are suitable for sub-bandgap strong-field excitation of a wide range of solid materials, including semiconductors. In the strong-field limit, bulk crystals also produce high-order harmonics. In this review, we first introduce several important wavelength scaling laws in strong-field physics, then describe recent breakthroughs in short- (1.4–3 μm), mid- (3–8 μm), and long-wave (8–15 μm) infrared laser technology, and finally provide examples of strong-field applications of these novel lasers. Some of the broadband ultrafast infrared lasers will have profound effects on medicine, environmental protection, and national defense,more »because their wavelengths cover the water absorption band, the molecular fingerprint region, as well as the atmospheric infrared transparent window.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2023
  3. We present recent progress towards building a neutral atom quantum computer. We use a new design for a blue-detuned optical lattice to trap single Cs atoms. The lattice is created using a combination of diffractive elements and acousto-optic deflectors (AODs) which give a reconfigurable set of cross-hatched lines. By using AODs, we can vary the number of traps and size of the trapping regions as well as eliminate extraneous traps in Talbot planes. Since this trap uses blue-detuned light, it traps both ground state atoms and atoms excited to the Rydberg state; moreover, by tuning the size of the trapping region, we can make the traps “magic” for a selected Rydberg state. We use an optical tweezer beam for atom rearrangement. When loading atoms into the array, trap sites randomly contain zero or one atoms. Atoms are then moved between different trapping sites using a red-detuned optical tweezer. Optimal atom rearrangement is calculated using the “Hungarian Method”. These rearrangement techniques can be used to create defect-free sub-lattices. Lattice atoms can also be used as a reservoir for a set of selected sites. This allows quick replacement of atoms, and increased data rate, without reloading from a MOT.
  4. We present progress in demonstrating Rydberg interactions between a single Rb and a single Cs atom simultaneously trapped in a single 976 nm optical tweezer. Rydberg lev- els in heteronuclear systems have different quantum defects, as opposed to homonuclear systems, and can therefore be chosen to minimize the Forster defect and increase the Rydberg interaction strength beyond symmetric Rydberg pairs at comparable energy levels. Additionally, multi-species systems are distinguishable and can be frequency multi- plexed in a straightforward manner. Frequency multiplexing both the state preparation and state readout is used in characterizing elastic and inelastic collision rates between Rb and Cs, as well as enabling crosstalk free ancilla measurements for quantum error correction.