2018-05-11Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/aabb4d
High harmonic interferometry of the Lorentz force in strong mid-infrared laser fields
The interaction of intense mid-infrared laser fields with atoms and molecules leads to a range of new opportunities, from the production of bright, coherent radiation in the soft x-ray range, to imaging molecular structures and dynamics with attosecond temporal and sub-angstrom spatial resolution. However, all these effects, which rely on laser-driven recollision of an electron removed by the strong laser field and its parent ion, suffer from the rapidly increasing role of the magnetic field component of the driving pulse: the associated Lorentz force pushes the electrons off course in their excursion and suppresses all recollision-based processes, including high harmonic generation as well as elastic and inelastic scattering. Here we show how the use of two non-collinear beams with opposite circular polarizations produces a forwards ellipticity which can be used to monitor, control, and cancel the effect of the Lorentz force. This arrangement can thus be used to re-enable recollision-based phenomena in regimes beyond the long-wavelength breakdown of the dipole approximation, and it can be used to observe this breakdown in high harmonic generation using currently available light sources.