A team of scientists from the U.S. has presented a new fiber laser technology that allows for industrial laser systems to emit attosecond laser beam pulses. It should be noted that usually, attosecond science presents several difficulties because it is based on world-class fiber laser devices.
Thus, the opportunity to apply industrial laser systems instead of complex devices that need huge laboratory tools and cleanroom environments enlarges new possibilities resulting in higher accessibility to researchers from all spheres. The generation of short laser beam pulses required for attosecond research needs the light to be directed through tubes filled with noble gases (xenon or argon) to compress them in time.
The scientists claim that nonlinear compression performed by the fiber laser is considered to be efficient when driven in molecular gases, employing laser beam pulses substantially longer than a few cycles, because nonlinearity is increased. The fiber laser technology has been already tested, and the scientists have succeeded to compress about 100-cycle laser beam pulses generated by an industrial fiber laser system by applying molecular gases – nitrous oxide in the tubes leading to changing pulse length.
Such laser systems allow for simultaneously drive molecular alignment and supercontinuum generation in a gas-filled capillary. Moreover, these single-cycle laser beam pulses are regarded as possible to achieve with this fiber laser technology. Thus, industrial laser systems that can be easily bought at an appropriate accessible price now are applied to emit attosecond pulses.
The thing is that the choice of gas and durations of the laser beam pulses plays a crucial role. For example, the use of molecular gas results in an enhanced effect. Therefore, the choice of gas is “important since the rotational alignment time depends on the inertia of the molecule, and to maximize the enhancement we want this to coincide with the duration of our pulses generated by the fiber laser.”
The development of fiber laser technology makes the system adjustment simpler promoting the operation with a wide variety of laser systems with various parameters. The research of attosecond science is regarded as very promising because such fiber lasers make it possible to construct images of the electrons, herewith, study the fast motion of electrons inside atoms.
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