Sterling Backus

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In this article, we review progress in the development of high peak-power ultrafast lasers, and discuss in detail the design issues which determine the performance of these systems. Presently, lasers capable of generating terawatt peak powers with unprecedented short pulse duration can now be built on a single optical table in a small-scale laboratory,(More)
We present spatial coherence measurements of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light generated through the process of high-harmonic up-conversion of a femtosecond laser. With a phase-matched hollow-fiber geometry, the generated beam was found to exhibit essentially full spatial coherence. The coherence of this laser-like EUV source was shown by recording Gabor(More)
High-harmonic generation is a well-known method of producing coherent extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) light, with photon energies up to about 0.5 keV (refs 1, 2). This is achieved by focusing a femtosecond laser into a gas, and high harmonics of the fundamental laser frequency are radiated in the forward direction. However, although this process can generate(More)
By use of the recently developed technique of guided-wave frequency conversion, the generation of sub-10-fs light pulses in the UV has been demonstrated for what is believed to be the first time. Cross-phase modulation of the light in a hollow waveguide produced a bandwidth of 16 nm, with a center frequency of 270 nm, at 1 kHz. A simple grating pair was(More)
By measuring the fringe visibility in a Young's double pinhole experiment, we demonstrate that quasi-phase-matched high-harmonic generation produces beams with very high spatial coherence at wavelengths around 13 nm. To our knowledge these are the highest spatial coherence values ever measured at such short wavelengths from any source without spatial(More)
We demonstrate the generation of very high-order harmonics, up to 250 eV, using argon gas. This extends by 100 eV the highest harmonics previously observed using Ar and exceeds the energies observed using any other medium besides helium. This advance is made possible by using a waveguide geometry to limit plasma-induced laser beam defocusing, making it(More)
The interference pattern produced by irradiation of a pair of pinholes with a beam contains information on both the spatial and the temporal coherence properties of the beam, as well as its power spectrum. We demonstrate experimentally for what is believed to be the first time that the spectrum of an extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) beam can be obtained from a(More)
We demonstrate enhanced generation of coherent light in the "water window" region of the soft x-ray spectrum at 4.4 nanometers, using quasi-phase-matched frequency conversion of ultrafast laser pulses. By periodically modulating the diameter of a gas-filled hollow waveguide, the phase mismatch normally present between the laser light and the generated soft(More)
Temporal focusing of spatially chirped femtosecond laser pulses overcomes previous limitations for ablating high aspect ratio features with low numerical aperture (NA) beams. Simultaneous spatial and temporal focusing reduces nonlinear interactions, such as self-focusing, prior to the focal plane so that deep (approximately 1 mm) features with parallel(More)
We demonstrate a high-power laser system that employs a new scheme in which pulses with negative chirp are amplified and then recompressed by dispersion in a block of transparent material. This scheme has significant advantages for amplification of intermediate energy pulses at high average power, including insensitivity to small misalignments of the pulse(More)