We predict high-order harmonics in which the polarization within the spectral bandwidth of each harmonic varies with frequency continuously and significantly. For example, the interaction of counter-rotating circularly-polarized bichromatic drivers having close central frequencies with isotropic gas leads to the emission of polarization-fan harmonics where each harmonic in the spectrum has the following property: it is nearly circularly-polarized in one tail of the harmonic peak, linear in the center of the peak and nearly circular with the opposite helicity in the opposite tail. Also, we show that polarization-fan high harmonics with modulated ellipticity are obtained when elliptical drivers are used. Polarization-fan harmonics are obtained as a result of multiple (at least two) head-on recollisions of electrons with their parent ions occurring from different angles in a two-dimensional plane. The use of bichromatic drivers with close central frequencies largely preserves the single-cycle, single-atom and macroscopic physics of 'ordinary' high harmonic generation, where both the driver and high harmonics are linearly polarized. Thus, it should offer several attracting features, including (i) a direct route for extending the maximal photon energy of observed helical high harmonics to keV by using bichromatic drivers only in the mid-IR region and (ii) utilizing phase matching methods that were developed for 'ordinary' high harmonic generation driven by quasi-monochromatic pulses (e.g. pressure tuning phase matching). These polarization-fan harmonics may be utilized for exploring non-repetitive ultrafast chiral phenomena, e.g. dynamics of magnetic domains, in a single shot.
|Journal||Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics|
|State||Published - 13 Jan 2017|
- attosecond pulses
- helically polarized high harmonic generation
- ultrafast chiral physics