Research ArticlePHYSICS

Optics-less focusing of XUV high-order harmonics

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Science Advances  05 Apr 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 4, eaau7175
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau7175


By experimentally studying high-order harmonic beams generated in gases, we show how the spatial characteristics of these ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) beams can be finely controlled when a single fundamental beam generates harmonics in a thin gas medium. We demonstrate that these XUV beams can be emitted as converging beams and thereby get focused after generation. We study this optics-less focusing using a spatially chirped beam that acts as a probe located inside the harmonic generation medium. We analyze the XUV beam evolution with an analytical model and obtain very good agreement with experimental measurements. The XUV foci sizes and positions vary strongly with the harmonic order, and the XUV waist can be located at arbitrarily large distances from the generating medium. We discuss how intense XUV fields can be obtained with optics-less focusing and how the order-dependent XUV beam characteristics are compatible with broadband XUV irradiation and attosecond science.

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