Intense attosecond XUV/x-ray pulses from relativistic laser-plasma interaction
Speaker: Julia Mikhailova, Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics
Series: Other Events
Location: J223 Equad
Date/Time: Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Progress in ultraintense lasers capable of accelerating electrons to relativistic velocities 
raises the question of whether laser technologies will ever be able to make the cutting-edge science
of large accelerators accessible to a broad range of researchers in moderate-size laser labs. From the
radiation physics perspective, an advantage of lasers is their ability to generate unprecedentedly
short pulses of XUV and x-ray radiation of the attosecond-scale duration (1 as = 10-18 s) . The
current state-of-the-art in attosecond science involves XUV pulses of ~100 as duration generated in
noble gases  that can be used for probing photoemission  and absorption dynamics [5, 6] with
extremely high temporal resolution. However, these pulses generally are made of small numbers of
photons, resulting in intensities well within the linear regime of light-matter interaction. Recent
insight into ultrafast laser-plasma interactions [7-12] offer the potential for much higher yields and
photon energies by combining advanced concepts of ultrafast optical science and relativistic plasma
physics. With the looming availability of high-intensity attosecond pulses derived from relativistic
plasma dynamics driven by high-field waveform-controlled few-cycle-pulse laser sources [13, 14],
the opportunity for the study of XUV and x-ray nonlinearities as well as XUV pump - XUV probeexperiments
is on the horizon. Such pulses could provide new methods to characterize electron
dynamics on the attosecond time scale. In the long run this research is promising for fundamental
studies of electron-related phenomena in physics and chemistry, and has a potential for novel
applications such as biomedical imaging.
The talk will be focused on a new method to generate isolated attosecond XUV/x-ray pulses of
high photon energies and intensities utilizing the interaction of ultrashort relativistic-intensity laser
pulses with solid targets. Research in this direction can have a great impact on the development of
laboratory-scale intense and ultrashort XUV/x-ray sources with a great potential for real-time studies
of electron phenomena in atoms, molecules and solids.
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Julia Mikhailova received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, in 2003 and 2007, respectively. From 2007 to 2008, she was a research fellow with the General Physics Institute, Moscow, Russia. From 2009 to 2011, she was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow with the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching Germany, where she continues to work now as a postdoctoral researcher. Her research interests include ultrafast nonlinear optics, high-harmonic generation, high-field laser physics, relativistic laser-plasma interaction.