Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) have demonstrated the emission of extreme ultraviolet radiation (UV) from thin dielectric films using ultrashort laser pulses.
Scientists have been able to generate extreme UV and even x-ray radiation by shining powerful lasers through gases, but doing so with solids has proven much more difficult because solids tend to be damaged by exposure to such powerful lasers.
The MPQ researchers succeeded by using ultrafast laser pulses that are so quick they comprise only a single oscillation of a light wave; these pulses are fast enough that they do not damage the solids. This method also enabled the researchers to gain insight into the properties of the solid at which they pulsed their laser.
"As the electrons move, they 'feel' the surrounding structure of the solid, and this information is embodied in the emitted radiation," says MPQ researcher Manish Garg. Lead investigator Eleftherios Goulielmakis notes, "We exploited the emitted EUV radiation to unveil information about the structure--more specifically the conduction band dispersion--of the solid, which was earlier inaccessible to solid state-spectroscopies."
In addition to solid-state spectroscopic applications, the new technique could open up new possibilities for light-based electronics that operate at high frequencies.
From Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
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