Large enhancement of macroscopic yield in attosecond pulse train assisted harmonic generation

Mette B. Gaarde, Louisiana State University
Kenneth J. Schafer, Louisiana State University
Arne Heinrich, ETH Zürich
Jens Biegert, ETH Zürich
Ursula Keller, ETH Zürich


Attosecond pulse trains (APT) are natural tools for controlling strong field processes, due to their periodicity and short duration. Here we present nonadiabatic calculations of the macroscopic harmonic signal created by a gas of helium atoms exposed to a strong infrared (IR) pulse in combination with an APT. We find that the harmonic yield can be enhanced by two to four orders of magnitude for the optimal delays between the IR and the APT pulses. The large enhancement is due to the change in the IR-intensity dependence of both the harmonic strength and phase caused by the presence and timing of the APT. This leads to enhancement of the harmonic yield and improved phase matching conditions over a large volume. © 2005 The American Physical Society.