Near-single-cycle laser for driving relativistic plasma mirrors at kHz repetition rate - development and application

Abstract : Very short light pulses allow us to resolve ultrafast processes in molecules, atoms and condensed matter. This started with the advent of Femtochemistry, for which Ahmed Zewail received the Novel Prize in Chemistry in 1999. Ever since, researcher have been trying to push the temporal resolution further and we have now reached attosecond pulse durations. Their generation, however, remains very challenging and various different generation mechanisms are the topic of heated research around the world.Our group focuses on attosecond pulse generation and ultrashort electron bunch acceleration on solid targets. In particular, this thesis deals with the upgrade of a high intensity, high contrast, kHz, femtosecond laser chain to reach the relativistic interaction regime on solid targets. Few cycle driving laser pulses should allow the generation of intense isolated attosecond pulses. A requirement to perform true attosecond pump-probe exeriments.To achive this, a HCF postcompression scheme has been conceived and implemented to shorten the duration of a traditional laser amplifier. With this a peak intensity of 1TW was achieved with near-single-cycle pulse duration. For controlled experiments, a vacuum beamline was developed and implemented to accurately control the laser and plasma conditions on target.During the second part of this thesis, this laser chain was put in action to drive relativistic harmonic generation on solid targets. It was the first time ever that this has been achieved at 1 kHz. By CEP gating the few-cycle-pulses, single attosecond pulses were generated. This conclusion has been supported by numerical simulations. Additionally a new regime to accelerate electron bunches on soft gradients has been detected.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01806334, version 1

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Frederik Böhle. Near-single-cycle laser for driving relativistic plasma mirrors at kHz repetition rate - development and application. Optics [physics.optics]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017SACLX116⟩. ⟨tel-01806334⟩

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