Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Synthesizing ultrafast optical pulses with arbitrary spatiotemporal control



Lu Chen, Wenqi Zhu, Pengcheng Huo, Junyeob Song, Henri Lezec, Ting Xu, Amit Agrawal


The ability to control the instantaneous state of light – its phase, amplitude, polarization, or wavefront – of high-energy pulses down to the single-photon level is an indispensable and a necessary requirement in photonics. This has, for example, facilitated spatiotemporal probing and coherent control of ultrafast light-matter interactions, and enabled capabilities such as generation of exotic states of light with complexity, or at wavelengths, not accessible with traditional mechanisms. Here, by leveraging multifunctional nanoscale control of light offered by metasurfaces, we present a versatile approach to synthesize complex ultrafast electric-field transients over an ultrawide bandwidth with arbitrary control over its complete spatiotemporal evolution. We expect the multidimensional control of the light-field using only a single-layer optic to transform the landscape of coherent ultrafast light-matter interactions.
Science Advances


Chen, L. , Zhu, W. , Huo, P. , Song, J. , Lezec, H. , Xu, T. and Agrawal, A. (2022), Synthesizing ultrafast optical pulses with arbitrary spatiotemporal control, Science Advances, [online],, (Accessed May 28, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created October 26, 2022, Updated January 6, 2023