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High harmonic generation in crystals assisted by local field enhancement in nanostructures

Abstract : The aim of this dissertation is to study the process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in solids and the possibility to amplify solid HHG by exploiting local field enhancements in nanostructures. While HHG in gases has been known for several decades and has been extensively studied, HHG in solids was first reported in 2011. Different processes such as interband and intraband oscillations were identified to play an important role in solid HHG. However, the process is still under investigation and debated in the community. Here, we study the generation of high harmonics in different crystals, such as ZnO, CaCO₃ and CdWO₄. We confirm that HHG depends on the driving wavelengths and on crystalline orientation. Beside 3D bulk crystals, we investigate HHG in 2D materials such as graphene. Due to its high electron mobility and its special band structure HHG in graphene is more efficient than in bulk crystals. Typically, intensities of 10¹² TW/cm² or more are needed to trigger HHG. The high intensity is reached by employing schemes like chirped pulse amplification which generates femtosecond pulses with µJ- or mJ-energies. Thanks to recent advances in nanofabrication techniques, nanostructures can enhance a laser electric field by several orders of magnitude. While plasmonically enhanced HHG in gases was shown not to be feasible, recent works reported on the amplification of HHG in solids. In this work, we explore the amplification of crystal HHG under various configurations. We first study different types of plasmonic nanostructures, namely bow ties, nanoholes, gratings and resonators. We compare them with respect to different parameters such as enhancement volume and peak enhancement. Different driving wavelengths and crystals are used. Strong amplification by several orders of magnitude is demonstrated for the third harmonic. Furthermore, we discuss radiation-induced damage of plasmonic nanostructures. Semiconductor nanostructures which confine light by subwavelength waveguiding have several advantages with respect to metallic nanostructures. Semiconductor nanocones for example exhibit a large amplification volume, several orders of magnitudes larger than previously reported and avoid melting observed in metallic nanostructures. We carry out several iterations of experiments with ZnO nanocones where the detection system and the nanocone geometry are improved in each cycle. We use different driving lasers and different optimized nanocone geometries. HHG in ZnO nanocones up to 15th order from a 3.1 µm driving laser is demonstrated. Amplification by several orders of magnitude of both perturbative and non-perturbative harmonics from nanojoule-oscillator pulses at MHz repetition rate and 2.1 µm wavelength is demonstrated, for the first time up to H9. The amplification factor depends on the pump intensity. We also explore the strong amplification of luminescence and propose ways to disentangle its contribution from the coherent one. Furthermore, we explore several applications of crystal HHG. First, we propose a new way to deduce the electric field spatial distribution in nanostructures by analyzing the radiation-induced damage. Secondly, we use the spatially coherent emission from the nanocone to image nanoscale objects with nanometer scale resolution. In addition, we generate solid harmonics that carry an orbital angular momentum.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 5, 2018 - 1:41:08 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 3:40:38 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, October 1, 2018 - 5:42:14 PM


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  • HAL Id : tel-01830832, version 1


Dominik Franz. High harmonic generation in crystals assisted by local field enhancement in nanostructures. Optics / Photonic. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLS128⟩. ⟨tel-01830832⟩



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