Ursula Keller wins “Swiss Nobel” Marcel Benoist Prize- for pioneering work in ultrafast lasers
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Attosecond-femtosecond pump-probe: Attoline

Location   Contact
ETH Zurich, IQE
Ultrafast Laser Physics
Auguste-Piccard-Hof 1
8093 Zurich
  Dr. Matteo Lucchini
Tel: +41 44 633 39 14

Configuration / Setup



Multi-pass, two-stage Ti:sapphire amplifier (Femtolasers Femtopower V CEP).
  • Two outputs: 1.2 mJ with 30 fs time duration and 10 mJ with 35 fs time duration, both CEP stabilized at 1 kHz repetition rate.
  • Pulse compression by filamentation down to 5 fs with 400 μJ.
  • Alternative femtosecond IR beam from TOPAS OPA system.
  • High-order harmonic generation:
    • Spectral domain: VUV photons with energy up to 100 eV (<1 nJ per pulse & harmonic).
    • Time domain: generation of attosecond pulse trains and single attosecond pulses.
  • Attosecond-femtosecond pump-probe setup with 107 as resolution.
  • Photoelectron and photoion TOF spectrometer.
  • Photon spectrometer for detection of up to 1.2 keV photon energy with 0.12 eV resolution.
  • Second target region, which can host different interaction chambers.
  • Locher, R., Lucchini, M., Herrmann, J., Sabbar, M., Weger, M., Ludwig, A., Castiglioni, L., Greif, M., Hengsberger, M., Gallmann, L., Keller, U. (2014) Versatile attosecond beamline in a two-foci configuration for simultaneous time-resolved measurements. Rev Sci Instr 85, 013113  »»
  • Holler, M., Schapper, F., Gallmann, L., Keller, U. (2011) Attosecond Electron Wave-Packet Interference Observed by Transient Absorption. Phys Rev Lett 106, 123601 »»
  • Herrmann, J., Weger, M., Locher, R., Sabbar, M., Rivière, P., Saalmann, U., Rost, J.-M., Gallmann, L., Keller, U. (2012) Virtual single-photon transition interrupted: time-gated optical gain and loss. Phys Rev 88, 043843 »»
Attoline schematic
  Attosecond pulse generation
The image shows a schematic of the attoline. Since the generated photons are in the XUV spectral region the whole line has to be in vacuum. The first five vacuum chambers (green frame) are used to properly modify the driving IR beam properties and generate the XUV light. The chamber in the blue frame is placed in the first interaction region for pump-probe experiments and hosts a TOF spectrometer. In the last part of the attoline (red frame) we find the photon spectrometer and the second interaction region where other experiments can be accomodated. In the given example a hemispherical analyzer for photoemission studies from solid-state targets is connected to the attoline (orange frame).


During the interaction between a strong infrared (IR) pulse with the atoms of a gas, high-order harmonics of the driving field are generated (HHG). Since the HHG repeats itself each half optical cycle of the IR field, a comb of odd harmonic is generated in frequency. The first pictures on the left shows the spectra of harmonics generated with 30 fs (black) or 5 fs (red) IR pulses. HHG corresponds in time to the generation of a train of attosecond pulses. If the HHG process is gated such that the generation can occur only within one half-optical cycle, a single attosecond pulse (SAP) can be selected. The second picture shows a cross-correlation trace used to fully characterize the SAP generated in the attoline. 
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