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We theoretically investigate high-harmonic generation in hexagonal boron nitride with linearly polarized laser pulses. We show that imperfect recollisions between electron-hole pairs in the crystal give rise to an electron-hole-pair polarization energy that leads to a double-peak structure in the subcycle emission profiles. An extended recollision model (ERM) is developed that allows for such imperfect recollisions, as well as effects related to Berry connections, Berry curvatures, and transition-dipole phases. The ERM illuminates the distinct spectrotemporal characteristics of harmonics emitted parallel and perpendicularly to the laser polarization direction. Imperfect recollisions are a general phenomenon and a manifestation of the spatially delocalized nature of the real-space wave packet; they arise naturally in systems with large Berry curvatures, or in any system driven by elliptically polarized light.

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Physical Review Letters