Although this is a PhD thesis, it goes in details discussing the process of high harmonic generation presenting the latest novelties in the field from first hand. The content is more suitable for researchers, graduate, and undergraduate students with interest in ultrafast optics. But for large part of the content no special background is required.
The book reveals experimentally and theoretically new methods for generation of tabletop coherent X-ray light through the process of high harmonic generation (HHG), as well as, new ways for phase matching of the HHG process using EUV, UV, IR, Mid-IR lasers. This version only briefly covers the experimental generation of circularly polarized EUV light. In addition, novel designs of special photonic band-gap waveguides, are discussed that will resolve all issues limiting the flux of IR, Mid-IR or UV driven hard X-rays. The high flux, allows us to perform experiments, which were previously only possible in large-scale facilities. Examples included here are X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAFS), X-ray Resonance diffraction imaging using ptychography and general imaging.
What are coherent X-rays useful for?
Observing the non-equilibrium dynamics of the invisible ultrafast atomic and sub-atomic world requires optical tools with ultrashort bursts of light and wavelengths. Such optical sources can provide us with the ultimate understanding of the quantum universe in the 4D space-time continuum at femto-zeptosecond time and nano-picometer spatial scale. Revealing at the same time, the ‘extra dimensions’ of the chemical nature of matter with elemental specificity, e.g., oxidation, charge/spin localization to specific elements, etc. Amongst the numerous X-ray light sources that exist or have been developed to date, there are just two practical complementary alternatives: giant free electron X-ray laser facilities and compact high harmonic generation X-ray lasers. This thesis focuses on the latter.
Such unique light tools will make it possible to answer even questions that have not yet been asked or may have never been imagined.
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