Isolated attosecond pulses from laser-driven synchrotron radiation

J. M. Mikhailova, M. V. Fedorov, N. Karpowicz, P. Gibbon, V. T. Platonenko, A. M. Zheltikov, F. Krausz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


A quantitative theory of attosecond pulse generation in relativistically driven overdense plasma slabs is presented based on an explicit analysis of synchrotron-type electron trajectories. The subcycle, field-controlled release, and subsequent nanometer-scale acceleration of relativistic electron bunches under the combined action of the laser and ionic potentials give rise to coherent radiation with a high-frequency cutoff, intensity, and radiation pattern explained in terms of the basic laws of synchrotron radiation. The emerging radiation is confined to time intervals much shorter than the half-cycle of the driver field. This intuitive approach will be instrumental in analyzing and optimizing few-cycle-laser-driven relativistic sources of intense isolated extreme ultraviolet and x-ray pulses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number245005
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 13 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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