High harmonics with controllable polarization by a burst of linearly-polarized driver pulses

Ofer Neufeld*, Eliyahu Bordo, Avner Fleischer, Oren Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We theoretically explore a scheme for generation of bright circularly and elliptically polarized high-order harmonics by bursts of linearly polarized pulses with a rotating polarization axis. Circularly polarized harmonics are formed if the bursts are comprised of N pulses that uphold an N-fold rotational symmetry, for N > 2. Rotating the polarization axes of the comprising pulses can generate elliptical harmonics with a collectively tunable ellipticity, from circular through elliptic to linear. The method preserves the single-cycle, single-atom and macroscopic physics of 'standard' linearly polarized high harmonic generation, with a high yield and cutoff energy. We investigate the method from a time-domain perspective, as well as a photonic perspective, and formulate the energy and spin-angular momentum conservation laws for this scheme. We find that the case of N = 4 is optimal for this method, resulting with the highest conversion efficiency of elliptical photons. The new features of this source offer new applications to helical ultrafast spectroscopy and ellipsometry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamical symmetry
  • High harmonic generation
  • UV optics
  • Ultrafast spectroscopy


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