Improving the brightness of high-harmonic generation (HHG) sources is one of the major goals for next-generation ultrafast, imaging and metrology applications in the extreme-ultraviolet spectrum. Previous research efforts have demonstrated a plethora of techniques to increase the conversion efficiency of HHG. However, few studies so far have addressed how to simultaneously minimize the divergence and improve focusability, which all contribute to an increased brightness of the source. Here, we investigate how to improve both photon yield and divergence, which is directly linked to focusability, when adding the second harmonic to the fundamental driving field. We study the effects of the relative polarization in two-color HHG and compare the results to a one-color configuration. In a perpendicular two-color field, the relative phase between the two colors can be used to suppress or enhance recombination of either the long or the short trajectories. This allows to exert control over the divergence of the harmonics. In a parallel two-color field, the ionization rate is modified through the two-color phase, which selects trajectories during the ionization step. This enhances the total yield. We elaborate on the underlying mechanisms for parallel, perpendicular, and intermediate polarization angles, and confirm our experimental observations with simulations.

Springer Science
Sci. Rep
High-Harmonic Generation and EUV Science

Roscam Abbing, S., Campi, F., Zeltsi, A., Smorenburg, P., & Kraus, P. (2021). Divergence and efficiency optimization in polarization-controlled two-color high-harmonic generation. Sci. Rep, 11(1), 24253: 1–11. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-03657-2