High-order harmonic generation (HHG) provides a promising tabletop source of coherent short wavelength radiation. However, the low generation efficiency limits the mean photon flux of HHG sources when driven with low average power, kHz repetition rate lasers. The HHG flux could be increased by employing MHz repetition rate driving lasers. However, the low pulse energy necessitates tight focusing, which limits the effective interaction volume. Generating harmonics in a gas-filled photonic crystal fiber (PCF) mitigates this problem, but for both free focus and PCF targets, the HHG conversion efficiency is optimized at technologically challenging multibar gas pressures. Here, we perform HHG with μJ-level driving pulses in a hollow-core PCF. We observe dramatic 60-fold enhancement of the HHG flux through a time-multiplexed multimodal quasi-phase-matching technique at low gas pressures. We also observe high harmonic photon energies up to 61.6 eV with continuous spectral tunability made possible by controlled ionization-induced blue shifting of the driving laser.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics