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Tilted-pulse-front excitation of strong quasistatic precursors

Tilted-pulse-front excitation of strong quasistatic precursors

Optics Express 27(4): 5154-5164

It was recently predicted [M. I. Bakunov, A. V. Maslov, and M. V. Tsarev, Phys. Rev. A95, 063817 (2017)10.1103/PhysRevA.95.063817] that concurrent processes of optical rectification and multiphoton absorption of an ultrashort laser pulse in an electro-optic crystal can generate a quasistatic electromagnetic precursor propagating ahead of the laser pulse. The electric and magnetic fields in the precursor can exceed the fields in the ordinary terahertz wave generated behind the laser pulse. We propose a way to enhance the precursor's magnitude tremendously, by at least two orders of magnitude, by using tilted-pulse-front excitation technique and higher orders of multiphoton absorption. In particular, we show that a pulse of 500 fs duration and 70 GW/cm2 peak intensity from a Yb-doped laser amplifier can generate in a 5-mm-thick LiNbO3 crystal a 0.5-mm-long precursor with the strengths of the electric and magnetic fields as high as 0.4 MV/cm and 0.13 T, respectively. Strong quasistatic (subterahertz) fields can be a useful tool for particle acceleration, molecular orientation, ultrafast control of magnetic order in matter, and in terahertz streaking techniques.

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Accession: 066593733

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PMID: 30876118

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