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Generation of elliptically polarized attosecond pulse trains

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Abstract

Stimulated by the recent demonstration of the first bright source of circularly polarized high harmonics, we examine the attosecond pulse trains generated by a group of such harmonics. For the s ground state of an atom, the polarization of generated pulses is close to linear, with three different orientations per cycle. However, for the p ground state of the inert gases used in the experiments, the polarization of the attosecond pulses is close to elliptical. We show that this is caused by the different intensities of the high harmonics of the opposite helicity.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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