Efficient generation of relativistic near-single-cycle mid-infrared pulses in plasmas

Zhu, Xing-Long and Weng, Su-Ming and Chen, Min and Sheng, Zheng-Ming and Zhang, Jie (2020) Efficient generation of relativistic near-single-cycle mid-infrared pulses in plasmas. Light: Science & Applications, 9. 46. ISSN 2047-7538

[thumbnail of Zhu-etal-LSA-2020-Efficient-generation-of-relativistic-near-cingle-cycle-mid-infrared-pulses]
Preview
Text (Zhu-etal-LSA-2020-Efficient-generation-of-relativistic-near-cingle-cycle-mid-infrared-pulses)
Zhu_etal_LSA_2020_Efficient_generation_of_relativistic_near_cingle_cycle_mid_infrared_pulses.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (2MB)| Preview

    Abstract

    Ultrashort intense optical pulses in the mid-infrared (mid-IR) region are very important for broad applications ranging from super-resolution spectroscopy to attosecond X-ray pulse generation and particle acceleration. However, currently, it is still difficult to produce few-cycle mid-IR pulses of relativistic intensities using standard optical techniques. Here, we propose and numerically demonstrate a novel scheme to produce these mid-IR pulses based on laser-driven plasma optical modulation. In this scheme, a plasma wake is first excited by an intense drive laser pulse in an underdense plasma, and a signal laser pulse initially at the same wavelength (1 micron) as that of the drive laser is subsequently injected into the plasma wake. The signal pulse is converted to a relativistic multi-millijoule near-single-cycle mid-IR pulse with a central wavelength of ~5 microns via frequency-downshifting, where the energy conversion efficiency is as high as approximately 30% when the drive and signal laser pulses are both at a few tens of millijoules at the beginning. Our scheme can be realized with terawatt-class kHz laser systems, which may bring new opportunities in high-field physics and ultrafast science.

    ORCID iDs

    Zhu, Xing-Long, Weng, Su-Ming, Chen, Min, Sheng, Zheng-Ming ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8823-9993 and Zhang, Jie;