, Volume 78, Issue 7-8, pp 869-872
Date: 07 Apr 2004

Time-resolved measurements of high order harmonics confined by polarization gating

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We investigate the temporal confinement of high order harmonic pulses generated by a femtosecond (fs) infrared (IR) pulse with a time varying polarization. We use a set of two birefringent quartz plates to modulate the IR polarization. It produces a short temporal gate of linear polarization where harmonics are efficiently generated during a small fraction of the IR pulse. By rotating one of the plates, the gate width can be continuously varied between 70 fs down to 7 fs. The XUV pulse duration is measured by cross-correlation with a probe IR pulse of 12 fs. When the gate width is decreased, a clear temporal confinement of the XUV emission is observed through the cross correlation signal. This experiment is the first direct experimental evidence in the temporal domain that the polarization gating technique can be used to significantly shorten the harmonic pulse duration.