Ultrafast Laser Science

Figure. The first sub-10 femtosecond Ti:sapphire laser, with graduate studnets Chung-Po Huang and Melanie Asaki. Opt. Lett. 18, 977 (1993); Opt. Lett. 19, 1149 (1994).

Figure.  Cryo-cooling of the laser amplifier crystal allows the repetition rate to be increased to tens of kHz, for application experiments and for generating high-flux x-ray beams. 
Opt. Lett. 22, 1256 (1997); Rev. Scientific Instruments 69, 1207 (1998); Opt. Lett. 29, 2665 (2004).

Figure. Extending the concept of spatial mismatch to spatiotemporal mismatch. Left: Traditional concept of spatial phase mismatch. Right: Natural extension to spatiotemporal phase mismatch by considering that dipoles radiate in space–time. Nature Photonics 4, 570 (2010).


Ultrafast laser pulses have greatly impacted our understanding of nature at the fundamental time scales relevant to atomic and molecular processes. Our research group has been a leader in this femtosecond laser science - advances from our group are now used worldwide for applications in many areas of science and technology. For example, our group uncovered how to design Ti:sapphire lasers that operate at the limits of pulse duration and stability, with adjustable pulse durations from from 7 fs or longer. These lasers are now a standard fixture in thousands of laboratories worldwide (including several other JILA labs).
 
Our current work is in developing high peak-power, high average-power lasers and unprecedented short pulse duration, spanning the UV to the mid-infrared regions of the spectrum. Science and technology are inextricably linked and continue to drive each other. Our latest innovation is a simple and compact laser capable of generating millijoule pulse energies at up to 100kHz repetition-rates, with carrier-envelope phase stabilization. This is an unprecedented average power for compact, university-scale, lasers, and is based on cryo-cooling of the amplifier crystal. This new laser system will enable many applications in science and technology. We are also continually developing new laser designs, diagnostics, and optical elements in our group.
 
See also www.kmlabs.com

Research Category: