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Ultrafast extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) and X-ray sources are revolutionizing our ability to follow femtosecond processes with ångström-scale resolution. The next frontier is to simultaneously control the direction, duration and timing of such radiation. Here, we demonstrate a fully functional opto-optical modulator for XUV light, similar to modulators available at infrared (IR) and visible wavelengths. It works by using an IR pulse to control the spatial and spectral phase of the free induction decay that results from using attosecond pulses to excite a gas. The modulator allows us to send the XUV light in a direction of our choosing at a time of our choosing. The inherent synchronization of the XUV emission to the control pulse will allow laser-pump/X-ray probe experiments with sub-femtosecond time resolution.

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Nature Photonics

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