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High-sensitivity frequency comb carrier-envelopephase metrology in solid state high harmonic generation



Daniel Lesko, Kristina Chang, Scott Diddams


Non-perturbative and phase-sensitive light–matter interactions have led to the generation of attosecond pulses of light and the control of electrical currents on the same time scale. Traditionally, probing these effects via high harmonic generation has involved complicated lasers and apparatuses to generate the few-cycle and high peak power pulses needed to obtain and measure spectra that are sensitive to the phase of the light wave. Instead, we show that nonlinear effects dependent on the carrier-envelope phase can be accessed in solid state crystals with simple, low pulse energy frequency combs that we combine with high-sensitivity demodulation techniques to measure harmonic spectral modulations. Central to this advance is the use of a scalable 100 MHz erbium-fiber frequency comb at 1550 nm to produce 12 nJ, 20 fs pulses that are focused to the TW/cm2 level. In a single pass through a 500 µm ZnO crystal, this yields harmonic spectra extending down to 200 nm. With this system, we introduce a technique of carrier-envelope amplitude modulation spectroscopy (CAMS) and use it to characterize the phase-sensitive modulation of the ultraviolet harmonics with an 85 dB signal-to-noise ratio. We further verify the non-perturbative nature of the harmonic generation through polarization gating of the driving pulse to increase the effects of the carrier-envelope phase. This work demonstrates robust and ultra-sensitive methods for generating and characterizing harmonic generation at 100 MHz rates that should provide advantages in the study of attosecond nonlinear processes in solid state systems. Additionally, as a simple and low-noise frequency comb, this broadband source will be useful for precision dual-comb spectroscopy of a range of physical systems across the ultraviolet and visible spectral regions (200–650 nm).


Frequency comb, dual comb, carrier envelope phase


Lesko, D. , Chang, K. and Diddams, S. (2022), High-sensitivity frequency comb carrier-envelopephase metrology in solid state high harmonic generation, Optica, [online],, (Accessed June 17, 2024)


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Created October 19, 2022, Updated June 6, 2024