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Sub-two-cycle gigawatt-peak-power LWIR OPA for ultrafast nonlinear spectroscopy of condensed state materials

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Abstract

The application of high-power, few-cycle, long-wave infrared (LWIR, 8–20 µm) pulses in strong-field physics is largely unexplored due to the lack of suitable sources. However, the generation of intense pulses with >6 µm wavelength range is becoming increasingly feasible with the recent advances in high-power ultrashort lasers in the middle-infrared range that can serve as a pump for optical parametric amplifiers (OPA). Here we experimentally demonstrate the feasibility of this approach by building an OPA pumped at 2.4 µm that generates 93 µJ pulses at 9.5 µm, 1 kHz repetition rate with sub-two-cycle pulse duration, 1.6 GW peak power, and excellent beam quality. The results open a wide range of applications in attosecond physics (especially for studies of condensed phase samples), remote sensing, and biophotonics.

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Data availability

Data underlying the results presented in this paper are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.

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