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We investigate high-order harmonic generation in a solid, modeled as a multilevel system dressed by a strong infrared laser field. We show that the cutoff energies and the relative strengths of the multiple plateaus that emerge in the harmonic spectrum can be understood both qualitatively and quantitatively by considering a combination of adiabatic and diabatic processes driven by the strong field. Such a model was recently used to interpret the multiple plateaus exhibited in harmonic spectra generated by solid argon and krypton [G. Ndabashimiye, Nature 534, 520 (2016)NATUAS0028-083610.1038/nature17660]. We also show that when the multilevel system originates from the Bloch state at the Γ point of the band structure, the laser-dressed states are equivalent to the Houston states [J. B. Krieger and G. J. Iafrate, Phys. Rev. B 33, 5494 (1986)PRBMDO1098-012110.1103/PhysRevB.33.5494] and will therefore map out the band structure away from the Γ point as the laser field increases. This leads to a semiclassical three-step picture in momentum space that describes the high-order harmonic generation process in a solid.

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Physical Review A