[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The band structure of matter determines its properties. In solids, it is typically mapped with angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, in which the momentum and the energy of incoherent electrons are independently measured. Sometimes, however, photoelectrons are difficult or impossible to detect. Here we demonstrate an all-optical technique to reconstruct momentum-dependent band gaps by exploiting the coherent motion of electron-hole pairs driven by intense midinfrared femtosecond laser pulses. Applying the method to experimental data for a semiconductor ZnO crystal, we identify the split-off valence band as making the greatest contribution to tunneling to the conduction band. Our new band structure measurement technique is intrinsically bulk sensitive, does not require a vacuum, and has high temporal resolution, making it suitable to study reactions at ambient conditions, matter under extreme pressures, and ultrafast transient modifications to band structures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By employing pulse compression with a stretched hollow-core fiber, we generated 2-cycle pulses at 1.8 μm (12 fs) carrying 5 mJ of pulse energy at 100 Hz repetition rate. This energy scaling in the mid-infrared spectral range was achieved by lowering the intensity in a loose focusing condition, thus suppressing the ionization induced losses. The correspondingly large focus was coupled into a hollow-core fiber of 1 mm inner diameter, operated with a pressure gradient to further reduce detrimental nonlinear effects. The required amount of self-phase modulation for spectral broadening was obtained over 3 m of propagation distance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The influence of cyclic electron delocalization associated with aromaticity on the high-order-harmonic generation (HHG) process is investigated in organic molecules. We show that the aromatic molecules benzene (C6H6) and furan (C4H4O) produce high-order harmonics more efficiently than nonaromatic systems having the same ring structure. We also demonstrate that the relative strength of plateau harmonics is sensitive to the aromaticity in five-membered-ring molecules using furan, pyrrole (C4H4NH), and thiophene (C4H4S). Numerical time-dependent Schrödinger equation simulations of total orientation-averaged strong-field ionization yields show that the HHG from aromatic molecules comes predominantly from the two highest π molecular orbitals, which contribute to the aromatic character of the systems.
Physical Review A 10/2015; 92(4). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevA.92.041801 · 2.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Collagen ultrastructure plays a central role in the function of a wide range of connective tissues. Studying collagen structure at the microscopic scale is therefore of considerable interest to understand the mechanisms of tissue pathologies. Here, we use second harmonic generation microscopy to characterize collagen structure within bone and articular cartilage in human knees. We analyze the intensity dependence on polarization and discuss the differences between Forward and Backward images in both tissues. Focusing on articular cartilage, we observe an increase in Forward/Backward ratio from the cartilage surface to the bone. Coupling these results to numerical simulations reveals the evolution of collagen fibril diameter and spatial organization as a function of depth within cartilage.
Journal of Biophotonics 09/2015; DOI:10.1002/jbio.201500150 · 4.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: When intense light interacts with an atomic gas, recollision between an ionizing electron and its parent ion creates high-order harmonics of the fundamental laser frequency. This sub-cycle effect generates coherent soft X-rays and attosecond pulses, and provides a means to image molecular orbitals. Recently, high harmonics have been generated from bulk crystals, but what mechanism dominates the emission remains uncertain. To resolve this issue, we adapt measurement methods from gas-phase research to solid zinc oxide driven by mid-infrared laser fields of 0.25 volts per ångström. We find that when we alter the generation process with a second-harmonic beam, the modified harmonic spectrum bears the signature of a generalized recollision between an electron and its associated hole. In addition, we find that solid-state high harmonics are perturbed by fields so weak that they are present in conventional electronic circuits, thus opening a route to integrate electronics with attosecond and high-harmonic technology. Future experiments will permit the band structure of a solid to be tomographically reconstructed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Electric breakdown in air occurs for electric fields exceeding 34 kV/cm and results in a large current surge that propagates along unpredictable trajectories. Guiding such currents across specific paths in a controllable manner could allow protection against lightning strikes and high-voltage capacitor discharges. Such capabilities can be used for delivering charge to specific targets, for electronic jamming, or for applications associated with electric welding and machining. We show that judiciously shaped laser radiation can be effectively used to manipulate the discharge along a complex path and to produce electric discharges that unfold along a predefined trajectory. Remarkably, such laser-induced arcing can even circumvent an object that completely occludes the line of sight.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we introduce a high sensitive side-polished fiber optic based surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor for refractometry in liquids for 1.32–1.37 Refractive Index Unit (RIU). In fabrication, a Controllable Hybrid Polishing Method (CHPM) was used to make high quality D-shaped fibers. For characterization, a super continuum (SC) light source was used in the measurement setup. The sensor has a spectral sensitivity of 5200 nm/RIU with a Limit of Detection (LOD) of 5.8 × 10−6 RIU. Also, we have demonstrated that by reducing the intensity noise in our light source, a Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) of 12.6 dB and a Limit of Detection (LOD) of 3.7 × 10−6 RIU is achievable in an intensiometric approach.
Sensors and Actuators A Physical 06/2015; 229. DOI:10.1016/j.sna.2015.03.021 · 1.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We propose a novel Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR)-based sensor that detects dew formation in optical fiber-based smart textiles. The proposed SPR sensor facilitates the observation of two phenomena: condensation of moisture and evaporation of water molecules in air. This sensor detects dew formation in less than 0.25 s, and determines dew point temperature with an accuracy of 4%. It can be used to monitor water layer depth changes during dew formation and evaporation in the range of a plasmon depth probe, i.e., 250 nm, with a resolution of 7 nm. Further, it facilitates estimation of the relative humidity of a medium over a dynamic range of 30% to 70% by measuring the evaporation time via the plasmon depth probe.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigate the behavior of resonant-induced harmonics from tin using driving lasers with tunable wavelengths. The intensity of the resonant harmonic is suppressed by the tuning laser wavelength around 1.8µm to understand the interaction dynamics of continuum electron with the autoionizing state.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Carbon molecules are used to generate intense high-order harmonics using driving lasers with 0.8 µm - 1.71 µm wavelengths. By driving plasma of reduced size (~200µm) with 1.71µm laser, we could extend the cutoff to ~70eV, while reducing the peak intensity by only ~31%.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report laser-guided electric discharges along curved trajectories, and hence around obstacles in line of sight between electrodes. Furthermore, beam self-healing enables direct discharge on target even when the laser beam directly hits the obstacle.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We implemented for the first time Interferometric SHG microscopy, using femtosecond pulses, to image the relative fibrils polarity in cartilage and show that SHG intensity depends on the local ratio of fibrils with opposite polarities.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the generation of 10 mJ, 5-cycle pulses at 1.8 μm (30 fs) at 100 Hz repetition rate using an optical parametric amplifier pumped by a high energy Titanium-Sapphire laser system (total energy of 23 mJ for Signal and Idler). This is the highest reported peak power (0.33 TW) in the infrared spectral range. This high-energy long wavelength laser source is well suited for driving various nonlinear optical phenomena such as high harmonic generation for high flux ultrafast soft X-ray pulses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report on terahertz (THz) generation via optical rectification in a room temperature gallium arsenide
(GaAs) crystal pumped at a wavelength of 1.8 μm using a modified tilted-pulse-front scheme, leading to a 0.05% energy conversion efficiency. The spectral content of the measured THz pulses, ranging from 0.1 to 3 THz, confirmed a good broadband phase matching between the pump and the THz pulses over several millimeters (>20 mm) in a semi-insulating 〈110〉 cut bulk GaAs crystal. Our findings also suggest that the pump-to-THz conversion efficiency can be further increased by using a pump source with a narrower bandwidth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report on infrared supercontinuum (SC) generation through laser filamentation and subsequent nonlinear propagation in a step-index As2S3 fiber. The 100 μm core and high-purity As2S3 fiber used exhibit zero-dispersion wavelength around 4.5 μm, a mid-infrared background loss of 0.2 dB/m, and a maximum loss of only 0.55 dB/m at the S-H absorption peak around 4.05 μm. When pumping with ultrashort laser pulses slightly above the S-H absorption band, broadband infrared supercontinua were generated with a 20 dB spectral flatness spanning from 1.5 up to 7 μm. The efficiency and spectral shape of the SC produced by ultrashort pulses in large-core As2S3 fiber are mainly determined by its dispersion, the S-H contaminant absorption, and the mid-infrared nonlinear absorption.