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Attosecondd X-rays amplification and chemistry control

Total activity: 2
Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Funding entity code
24.200,00 €
Start date
End date
The proposed research aims at studying the amplification of attosecond X-ray pulses from high order harmonic generation (HHG)
processes and at using them combined with femtosecond laser pulses for quantum coherent control of chemical processes.
X-rays represent one of the most powerful tools for understanding molecules and materials at the nanoscale, uncovering important
information related to magnetism, photochemistry, materials, biology, nanoscience and many other areas of science and technology. To
date, research in X-ray science has predominantly been carried out using synchrotron large scale facilities. We intend to implement a new
ultrafast X-ray coherent light amplifier which promises to complement and substitute in many cases the need of large scale synchrotron
facilities. This new X-ray source will allow a new generation of experiments to be carried out in low-cost regular-size laboratories of
universities, hospitals and research centers. In biology and medicine this new ultrafast X-ray source promises to capture the most basic
processes, such as charge transfer, photosynthesis or cell death, on their fundamental time and scales.
Indeed, high harmonic up-conversion of femtosecond lasers (HHG) has been investigated in laser science for more than twenty years as a
complementary X-ray source which retains all laser light properties and is available in the XUV and soft-X-ray regions of the
electromagnetic spectrum. The major drawback in HHG x-ray sources is the conversion efficiencies, which for 100 eV energy photons is
typically already on the order of 10^-8, which makes HHG almost useless for real applications.
In this context, we have recently shown that forward XUV scattering is largely enhanced when an XUV pulse is synchronized with the
amplitude maxima of the IR laser driving pulse in a HHG process. We have shown theoretically and it has been recently corroborated
experimentally that the enhanced scattering effect that we have discovered can be used for large amplification of the coherent XUV pulsed
radiation generated in HHG processes, to power levels that might be useful for most applications. In collaboration with the experimental
group in Jena (Germany) we intend to complete our theoretical and experimental studies in order to design the first X-ray laser amplifier by
determining the optimal conditions for large amplification of attosecond pulses in the XUV, the water-window (300 - 400 eV) and the keV
regions, the regions of the electromagnetic spectrum that are essential for applications in chemistry, biology and medicine. As mentioned
above, the most compeling aspects about our X-ray source development are the possibility to build low-cost (compared to synchrotron
facilities) and table-top intense X-ray beamlines fitting in university laboratories and hospitals around the world. This represents a truly
great challenge for X-rays spectroscopy science and for the attophysics scientific community. This new type of amplified intense ultrashort
coherent X-ray source should eventually lead us closer to the ultimate goal of understanding the mechanisms behind coherent control of
chemical reactions. Such investigations open the door to develop new methods for control in the weak and moderate intensity regimes
combined to more intense-field processes for bridging the gap between femtochemistry, attosecond physics and attochemistry.
Adm. Estat
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2013-2016
Call year
Funcding program
Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad
Funding call
Retos de Investigación: Proyectos de I+D+i
Grant institution
Gobierno De España. Ministerio De Economía Y Competitividad, Mineco


Scientific and technological production

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