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Atoms in high intensity mid-infrared pulses

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The recent development of intense, ultrashort, table top lasers in the mid-infrared opens new avenues for research in strong field atomic physics. Electrons submitted to such radiation acquire huge quiver energies, even at moderate intensity and interesting properties arise: first, the wavelength offers a convenient experimental knob to tune the ionisation regime by controlling the Keldysh parameter. Second, many processes like above-threshold ionisation or high harmonic generation, whose characteristics depend directly on this energy, can be pushed to unprecedented limits. Third, the wavelength controls the spectral phase of the harmonics and hence the possibility to improve the generation of pulses in the attosecond regime. Recent studies of rare gas and alkali atoms' photoelectron spectra and harmonic generation at 2 and 3.6 m have begun to confirm the theoretical predictions. However, unexpected features have also been found showing that strong field interaction still keeps some secrets after more than 40 years of investigation.
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Keywords: above-threshold ionisation; attosecond pulses; high harmonic generation; multiphoton ionisation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Physics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Publication date: 2008-05-01

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