Funded by: ERC
High-energy soliton dynamics in hollow capillary fibres for self-compression and deep and vacuum ultraviolet pulse generation
Optical soliton dynamics can cause the extreme alteration of the temporal and spectral shape of a propagating light pulse. For example they can be used for temporal self-compression and are the basis of a multitude of routes to supercontinuum generation. They occur at up to kilowatt peak powers in glass-core optical fibres and the gigawatt level in gas-filled microstructured hollow-core fibres.
The goal of the HISOL project is to understand and demonstrate optical soliton dynamics in large-core hollow capillary fibres (HCF). This enables scaling of soliton effects by several orders of magnitude to the multi-mJ energy and terawatt peak power level.
So far we have experimentally demonstrated two key soliton effects. First, we have obtained self-compression to sub-cycle pulses and infered the creation of high-power sub-femtosecond field waveforms, sometimes refered to as optical attosecond pulses.
Second, we efficiently generated continuously tunable high-energy pulses in the vacuum and deep ultraviolet (110 nm to 400 nm) through resonant dispersive-wave emission. We have used our numerical modelling to infer the duration of the VUV pulses to be around 2 fs, which means that they have the highest peak power, and hence highest brightness, of any continuously tunable VUV source yet demonstrated. In fact our table-top VUV source has a higher brightness than kilometre scale free-electron lasers.
These results promise to be the foundation of a new generation of table-top light sources for ultrafast strong-field physics and advanced spectroscopy.
HISOL is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (ERC starting grant agreement No 679649).