Zeptosecond precision pulse shaping
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OPTICS EXPRESS 19 (12): 11638-11653 (Juni 2011)

We investigate the temporal precision in the generation of ultrashort laser pulse pairs by pulse shaping techniques. To this end, we combine a femtosecond polarization pulse shaper with a polarizer and employ two linear spectral phase masks to mimic an ultrastable common-path interferometer. In an all-optical experiment we study the interference signal resulting from two temporally delayed pulses. Our results show a 2 sigma-precision of 300 zs = 300 x 10(-21) s in pulse-to-pulse delay. The standard deviation of the mean is 11 zs. The obtained precision corresponds to a variation of the arm's length in conventional delay stage based interferometers of 0.45 angstrom. We apply these precisely generated pulse pairs to a strong-field quantum control experiment. Coherent control of ultrafast electron dynamics via photon locking by temporal phase discontinuities on a few attosecond timescale is demonstrated. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
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