Filamentation of 10 mJ, 23 fs Ti:Sapphire pulses inside a cell filled with argon. Visible is the generated intense white light along propagation.

Nonlinear optics and extreme photonics

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Description of Activities:

Advances in nonlinear optics are tightly interlinked with performance of high peak power coherent light sources. We utilize techniques such as OPA and OPCPA for waveform engineering of controlled intense light fields across the UV to the mid-IR spectral range. These sources have reached top performance with e.g. 2000 nm, 3-cycle duration, self-CEP stable and with 1 mJ pulse energy at 4 kHz. Current interest lies in the long wavelength range with sources tunable or operating at 2000 nm, 3100 nm, 6000 nm and beyond.

Extreme photonics is concerned with the interaction of intense light fields with matter. For instance, we investigate, and use physical phenomena such as filamentation to study X-wave generation. We have made pioneering contributions, e.g. achieving one of the shortest pulse durations (3.7 fs at 800 nm) and introduced filamentation for the generation of intense sub-2-cycle light fields. Recent breakthroughs include the first demonstration of a >3-octave-wide and coherent supercontinuum and first self-compression in bulk media to the two-cycle regime without chirped mirrors and 80% efficiency.