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Millijoule few-cycle pulses from staged compression for strong and high field science.


Intense few-cycle laser pulses have a breadth of applications in high energy density science, including particle acceleration and x-ray generation. Multi-amplifier laser system pulses have durations of tens of femtoseconds or longer. To achieve high intensities at the single-cycle limit, a robust and efficient post-compression scheme is required. We demonstrate a staged compression technique using self-phase modulation in thin dielectric media, in which few-cycle pulses can be produced. The few-cycle pulse is then used to generate extreme ultravoilet light via high harmonic generation at strong field intensities and to generate MeV electron beams via laser solid interactions at relativistic intensities.

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