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Phys Rev Lett. 2001 Sep 24;87(13):133902. Epub 2001 Sep 10.

Control of laser high-harmonic generation with counterpropagating light.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602, USA.


Relatively weak counterpropagating light is shown to disrupt the emission of laser high-harmonic generation. Harmonic orders ranging from the teens to the low thirties produced by a 30-femtosecond pulse in a narrow argon jet are "shut down" with a contrast as high as 2 orders of magnitude by a chirped 1-picosecond counterpropagating laser pulse (60 times less intense). Alternatively, under poor phase-matching conditions, the counterpropagating light boosts harmonic production by similar contrast through quasiphase matching where out-of-phase emission is suppressed.

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