Abstract

We demonstrate an essentially dispersion-free and diffraction-limited focusing of few-cycle laser pulses through all-reflective microscope objectives. By transmitting 6-fs-pulses from a Ti:sapphire oscillator through an all-reflective 0.5 NA objective, we reach a focus with a beam diameter of 1.0 µm, preserving the time structure of the pulses. The temporal and spatial pulse profile is recorded simultaneously using a novel tip-enhanced electron emission autocorrelator, indicating a focal volume of these pulses of only 1.8 µm3. We anticipate that the demonstrated technique is of considerable interest for inducing and probing optical nonlinearities of individual nanostructures.

© 2011 OSA

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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. K. F. MacDonald, Z. L. Samson, M. I. Stockman, and N. I. Zheludev, “Ultrafast active plasmonics,” Nat. Photonics 3(1), 55–58 (2009).
    [CrossRef]
  3. N. Rotenberg, M. Betz, and H. M. van Driel, “Ultrafast all-optical coupling of light to surface plasmon polaritons on plain metal surfaces,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 105(1), 017402 (2010).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. M. I. Stockman, M. F. Kling, U. Kleineberg, and F. Krausz, “Attosecond nanoplasmonic-field microscope,” Nat. Photonics 1(9), 539–544 (2007).
    [CrossRef]
  5. T. Hanke, G. Krauss, D. Träutlein, B. Wild, R. Bratschitsch, and A. Leitenstorfer, “Efficient nonlinear light emission of single gold optical antennas driven by few-cycle near-infrared pulses,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 103(25), 257404 (2009).
    [CrossRef]
  6. V. M. Shalaev and A. K. Sarychev, “Nonlinear optics of random metal-dielectric films,” Phys. Rev. B 57(20), 13265–13288 (1998).
    [CrossRef]
  7. E. J. Sánchez, L. Novotny, and X. S. Xie, “Near-field fluorescence microscopy based on two-photon excitation with metal tips,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 82(20), 4014–4017 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
  8. S. Grésillon, L. Aigouy, A. C. Boccara, J. C. Rivoal, X. Quelin, C. Desmarest, P. Gadenne, V. A. Shubin, A. K. Sarychev, and V. M. Shalaev, “Experimental observation of localized optical excitations in random metal-dielectric films,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 82(22), 4520–4523 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
  9. M. I. Stockman, S. V. Faleev, and D. J. Bergman, “Coherent control of femtosecond energy localization in nanosystems,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 88(6), 067402 (2002).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. S. Kim, J. Jin, Y.-J. Kim, I.-Y. Park, Y. Kim, and S.-W. Kim, “High-harmonic generation by resonant plasmon field enhancement,” Nature 453(7196), 757–760 (2008).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. P. Hommelhoff, Y. Sortais, A. Aghajani-Talesh, and M. A. Kasevich, “Field emission tip as a nanometer source of free electron femtosecond pulses,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 96(7), 077401 (2006).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. C. Ropers, D. R. Solli, C. P. Schulz, C. Lienau, and T. Elsaesser, “Localized multiphoton emission of femtosecond electron pulses from metal nanotips,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 98(4), 043907 (2007).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. D. J. Jones, S. A. Diddams, J. K. Ranka, A. Stentz, R. S. Windeler, J. L. Hall, and S. T. Cundiff, “Carrier-Envelope Phase Control of Femtosecond Mode-Locked Lasers and Direct Optical Frequency Synthesis,” Science 288(5466), 635–639 (2000).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. T. Udem, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, “Optical frequency metrology,” Nature 416(6877), 233–237 (2002).
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  15. H. Niikura, F. Legare, R. Hasbani, A. D. Bandrauk, M. Y. Ivanov, D. M. Villeneuve, and P. B. Corkum, “Sub-laser-cycle electron pulses for probing molecular dynamics,” Nature 417(6892), 917–922 (2002).
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  16. G. Sansone, E. Benedetti, F. Calegari, C. Vozzi, L. Avaldi, R. Flammini, L. Poletto, P. Villoresi, C. Altucci, R. Velotta, S. Stagira, S. De Silvestri, and M. Nisoli, “Isolated single-cycle attosecond pulses,” Science 314(5798), 443–446 (2006).
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  17. A. Apolonski, A. Poppe, G. Tempea, C. Spielmann, T. Udem, R. Holzwarth, T. W. Hänsch, and F. Krausz, “Controlling the phase evolution of few-cycle light pulses,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 85(4), 740–743 (2000).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. J. Jasapara and W. Rudolph, “Characterization of sub-10-fs pulse focusing with high-numerical-aperture microscope objectives,” Opt. Lett. 24(11), 777–779 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
  19. M. Müller, J. Squier, R. Wolleschensky, U. Simon, and G. J. Brakenhoff, “Dispersion pre-compensation of 15 femtosecond optical pulses for high-numerical-aperture objectives,” J. Microsc. 191(2), 141–150 (1998).
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  23. F. Druon, G. Chériaux, J. Faure, J. Nees, M. Nantel, A. Maksimchuk, G. Mourou, J. C. Chanteloup, and G. Vdovin, “Wave-front correction of femtosecond terawatt lasers by deformable mirrors,” Opt. Lett. 23(13), 1043–1045 (1998).
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  26. C. Iaconis and I. A. Walmsley, “Spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction of ultrashort optical pulses,” Opt. Lett. 23(10), 792–794 (1998).
    [CrossRef]
  27. S. C. Hohng, Y. C. Yoon, D. S. Kim, V. Malyarchuk, R. Muller, C. Lienau, J. W. Park, K. H. Yoo, J. Kim, H. Y. Ryu, and Q. H. Park, “Light emission from the shadows: Surface plasmon nano-optics at near and far fields,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 81(17), 3239–3241 (2002).
    [CrossRef]
  28. C. Ropers, G. Stibenz, G. Steinmeyer, R. Müller, D. J. Park, K. G. Lee, J. E. Kihm, J. Kim, Q. H. Park, D. S. Kim, and C. Lienau, “Ultrafast dynamics of surface plasmon polaritons in plasmonic metamaterials,” Appl. Phys. B 84(1-2), 183–189 (2006).
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  31. E. Devaux, A. Dereux, E. Bourillot, J.-C. Weeber, Y. Lacroute, J.-P. Goudonnet, and C. Girard, “Local detection of the optical magnetic field in the near zone of dielectric samples,” Phys. Rev. B 62(15), 10504–10514 (2000).
    [CrossRef]
  32. M. Burresi, D. van Oosten, T. Kampfrath, H. Schoenmaker, R. Heideman, A. Leinse, and L. Kuipers, “Probing the magnetic field of light at optical frequencies,” Science 326(5952), 550–553 (2009).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  33. D. J. Park, S. B. Choi, K. J. Ahn, D. S. Kim, J. H. Kang, Q. H. Park, M. S. Jeong, and D. K. Ko, “Experimental verification of surface plasmon amplification on a metallic transmission grating,” Phys. Rev. B 77(11), 115451 (2008).
    [CrossRef]
  34. K. G. Lee, H. W. Kihm, J. E. Kihm, W. J. Choi, H. Kim, C. Ropers, D. J. Park, Y. C. Yoon, S. B. Choi, D. H. Woo, J. Kim, B. Lee, Q. H. Park, C. Lienau, and D. S. Kim, “Vector field microscopic imaging of light,” Nat. Photonics 1(1), 53–56 (2007).
    [CrossRef]
  35. P. Bowlan, P. Gabolde, and R. Trebino, “Directly measuring the spatio-temporal electric field of focusing ultrashort pulses,” Opt. Express 15(16), 10219–10230 (2007).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  36. P. Bowlan, U. Fuchs, R. Trebino, and U. D. Zeitner, “Measuring the spatiotemporal electric field of tightly focused ultrashort pulses with sub-micron spatial resolution,” Opt. Express 16(18), 13663–13675 (2008).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  37. R. Bormann, M. Gulde, A. Weismann, S. V. Yalunin, and C. Ropers, “Tip-enhanced strong-field photoemission,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 105(14), 147601 (2010).
    [CrossRef]
  38. A. Anderson, K. S. Deryckx, X. G. Xu, G. Steinmeyer, and M. B. Raschke, “Few-femtosecond plasmon dephasing of a single metallic nanostructure from optical response function reconstruction by interferometric frequency resolved optical gating,” Nano Lett. 10(7), 2519–2524 (2010).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]

2010

N. Rotenberg, M. Betz, and H. M. van Driel, “Ultrafast all-optical coupling of light to surface plasmon polaritons on plain metal surfaces,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 105(1), 017402 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. Bormann, M. Gulde, A. Weismann, S. V. Yalunin, and C. Ropers, “Tip-enhanced strong-field photoemission,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 105(14), 147601 (2010).
[CrossRef]

A. Anderson, K. S. Deryckx, X. G. Xu, G. Steinmeyer, and M. B. Raschke, “Few-femtosecond plasmon dephasing of a single metallic nanostructure from optical response function reconstruction by interferometric frequency resolved optical gating,” Nano Lett. 10(7), 2519–2524 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2009

P. Vasa, C. Ropers, R. Pomraenke, and C. Lienau, “Ultra-fast nano-optics,” Laser Photonics Rev. 3(6), 483–507 (2009).
[CrossRef]

M. Burresi, R. J. P. Engelen, A. Opheij, D. van Oosten, D. Mori, T. Baba, and L. Kuipers, “Observation of polarization singularities at the nanoscale,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 102(3), 033902 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Burresi, D. van Oosten, T. Kampfrath, H. Schoenmaker, R. Heideman, A. Leinse, and L. Kuipers, “Probing the magnetic field of light at optical frequencies,” Science 326(5952), 550–553 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

K. F. MacDonald, Z. L. Samson, M. I. Stockman, and N. I. Zheludev, “Ultrafast active plasmonics,” Nat. Photonics 3(1), 55–58 (2009).
[CrossRef]

T. Hanke, G. Krauss, D. Träutlein, B. Wild, R. Bratschitsch, and A. Leitenstorfer, “Efficient nonlinear light emission of single gold optical antennas driven by few-cycle near-infrared pulses,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 103(25), 257404 (2009).
[CrossRef]

2008

S. Kim, J. Jin, Y.-J. Kim, I.-Y. Park, Y. Kim, and S.-W. Kim, “High-harmonic generation by resonant plasmon field enhancement,” Nature 453(7196), 757–760 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. J. Park, S. B. Choi, K. J. Ahn, D. S. Kim, J. H. Kang, Q. H. Park, M. S. Jeong, and D. K. Ko, “Experimental verification of surface plasmon amplification on a metallic transmission grating,” Phys. Rev. B 77(11), 115451 (2008).
[CrossRef]

P. Bowlan, U. Fuchs, R. Trebino, and U. D. Zeitner, “Measuring the spatiotemporal electric field of tightly focused ultrashort pulses with sub-micron spatial resolution,” Opt. Express 16(18), 13663–13675 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2007

P. Bowlan, P. Gabolde, and R. Trebino, “Directly measuring the spatio-temporal electric field of focusing ultrashort pulses,” Opt. Express 15(16), 10219–10230 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

K. G. Lee, H. W. Kihm, J. E. Kihm, W. J. Choi, H. Kim, C. Ropers, D. J. Park, Y. C. Yoon, S. B. Choi, D. H. Woo, J. Kim, B. Lee, Q. H. Park, C. Lienau, and D. S. Kim, “Vector field microscopic imaging of light,” Nat. Photonics 1(1), 53–56 (2007).
[CrossRef]

C. Ropers, D. R. Solli, C. P. Schulz, C. Lienau, and T. Elsaesser, “Localized multiphoton emission of femtosecond electron pulses from metal nanotips,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 98(4), 043907 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Aeschlimann, M. Bauer, D. Bayer, T. Brixner, F. J. Garcia de Abajo, W. Pfeiffer, M. Rohmer, C. Spindler, and F. Steeb, “Adaptive subwavelength control of nano-optical fields,” Nature 446(7133), 301–304 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. I. Stockman, M. F. Kling, U. Kleineberg, and F. Krausz, “Attosecond nanoplasmonic-field microscope,” Nat. Photonics 1(9), 539–544 (2007).
[CrossRef]

2006

P. Hommelhoff, Y. Sortais, A. Aghajani-Talesh, and M. A. Kasevich, “Field emission tip as a nanometer source of free electron femtosecond pulses,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 96(7), 077401 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

G. Sansone, E. Benedetti, F. Calegari, C. Vozzi, L. Avaldi, R. Flammini, L. Poletto, P. Villoresi, C. Altucci, R. Velotta, S. Stagira, S. De Silvestri, and M. Nisoli, “Isolated single-cycle attosecond pulses,” Science 314(5798), 443–446 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. Ropers, G. Stibenz, G. Steinmeyer, R. Müller, D. J. Park, K. G. Lee, J. E. Kihm, J. Kim, Q. H. Park, D. S. Kim, and C. Lienau, “Ultrafast dynamics of surface plasmon polaritons in plasmonic metamaterials,” Appl. Phys. B 84(1-2), 183–189 (2006).
[CrossRef]

U. Fuchs, U. D. Zeitner, and A. Tünnermann, “Hybrid optics for focusing ultrashort laser pulses,” Opt. Lett. 31(10), 1516–1518 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2002

M. I. Stockman, S. V. Faleev, and D. J. Bergman, “Coherent control of femtosecond energy localization in nanosystems,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 88(6), 067402 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

S. C. Hohng, Y. C. Yoon, D. S. Kim, V. Malyarchuk, R. Muller, C. Lienau, J. W. Park, K. H. Yoo, J. Kim, H. Y. Ryu, and Q. H. Park, “Light emission from the shadows: Surface plasmon nano-optics at near and far fields,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 81(17), 3239–3241 (2002).
[CrossRef]

T. Udem, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, “Optical frequency metrology,” Nature 416(6877), 233–237 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

H. Niikura, F. Legare, R. Hasbani, A. D. Bandrauk, M. Y. Ivanov, D. M. Villeneuve, and P. B. Corkum, “Sub-laser-cycle electron pulses for probing molecular dynamics,” Nature 417(6892), 917–922 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2000

A. Apolonski, A. Poppe, G. Tempea, C. Spielmann, T. Udem, R. Holzwarth, T. W. Hänsch, and F. Krausz, “Controlling the phase evolution of few-cycle light pulses,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 85(4), 740–743 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. J. Jones, S. A. Diddams, J. K. Ranka, A. Stentz, R. S. Windeler, J. L. Hall, and S. T. Cundiff, “Carrier-Envelope Phase Control of Femtosecond Mode-Locked Lasers and Direct Optical Frequency Synthesis,” Science 288(5466), 635–639 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

E. Devaux, A. Dereux, E. Bourillot, J.-C. Weeber, Y. Lacroute, J.-P. Goudonnet, and C. Girard, “Local detection of the optical magnetic field in the near zone of dielectric samples,” Phys. Rev. B 62(15), 10504–10514 (2000).
[CrossRef]

1999

J. Jasapara and W. Rudolph, “Characterization of sub-10-fs pulse focusing with high-numerical-aperture microscope objectives,” Opt. Lett. 24(11), 777–779 (1999).
[CrossRef]

E. J. Sánchez, L. Novotny, and X. S. Xie, “Near-field fluorescence microscopy based on two-photon excitation with metal tips,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 82(20), 4014–4017 (1999).
[CrossRef]

S. Grésillon, L. Aigouy, A. C. Boccara, J. C. Rivoal, X. Quelin, C. Desmarest, P. Gadenne, V. A. Shubin, A. K. Sarychev, and V. M. Shalaev, “Experimental observation of localized optical excitations in random metal-dielectric films,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 82(22), 4520–4523 (1999).
[CrossRef]

1998

V. M. Shalaev and A. K. Sarychev, “Nonlinear optics of random metal-dielectric films,” Phys. Rev. B 57(20), 13265–13288 (1998).
[CrossRef]

C. Iaconis and I. A. Walmsley, “Spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction of ultrashort optical pulses,” Opt. Lett. 23(10), 792–794 (1998).
[CrossRef]

F. Druon, G. Chériaux, J. Faure, J. Nees, M. Nantel, A. Maksimchuk, G. Mourou, J. C. Chanteloup, and G. Vdovin, “Wave-front correction of femtosecond terawatt lasers by deformable mirrors,” Opt. Lett. 23(13), 1043–1045 (1998).
[CrossRef]

M. Müller, J. Squier, R. Wolleschensky, U. Simon, and G. J. Brakenhoff, “Dispersion pre-compensation of 15 femtosecond optical pulses for high-numerical-aperture objectives,” J. Microsc. 191(2), 141–150 (1998).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1993

1988

Z. Bor, “Distortion of femtosecond laser pulses in lenses and lens systems,” J. Mod. Opt. 35(12), 1907–1918 (1988).
[CrossRef]

Aeschlimann, M.

M. Aeschlimann, M. Bauer, D. Bayer, T. Brixner, F. J. Garcia de Abajo, W. Pfeiffer, M. Rohmer, C. Spindler, and F. Steeb, “Adaptive subwavelength control of nano-optical fields,” Nature 446(7133), 301–304 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Aghajani-Talesh, A.

P. Hommelhoff, Y. Sortais, A. Aghajani-Talesh, and M. A. Kasevich, “Field emission tip as a nanometer source of free electron femtosecond pulses,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 96(7), 077401 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Ahn, K. J.

D. J. Park, S. B. Choi, K. J. Ahn, D. S. Kim, J. H. Kang, Q. H. Park, M. S. Jeong, and D. K. Ko, “Experimental verification of surface plasmon amplification on a metallic transmission grating,” Phys. Rev. B 77(11), 115451 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Aigouy, L.

S. Grésillon, L. Aigouy, A. C. Boccara, J. C. Rivoal, X. Quelin, C. Desmarest, P. Gadenne, V. A. Shubin, A. K. Sarychev, and V. M. Shalaev, “Experimental observation of localized optical excitations in random metal-dielectric films,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 82(22), 4520–4523 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Altucci, C.

G. Sansone, E. Benedetti, F. Calegari, C. Vozzi, L. Avaldi, R. Flammini, L. Poletto, P. Villoresi, C. Altucci, R. Velotta, S. Stagira, S. De Silvestri, and M. Nisoli, “Isolated single-cycle attosecond pulses,” Science 314(5798), 443–446 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Anderson, A.

A. Anderson, K. S. Deryckx, X. G. Xu, G. Steinmeyer, and M. B. Raschke, “Few-femtosecond plasmon dephasing of a single metallic nanostructure from optical response function reconstruction by interferometric frequency resolved optical gating,” Nano Lett. 10(7), 2519–2524 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Apolonski, A.

A. Apolonski, A. Poppe, G. Tempea, C. Spielmann, T. Udem, R. Holzwarth, T. W. Hänsch, and F. Krausz, “Controlling the phase evolution of few-cycle light pulses,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 85(4), 740–743 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Avaldi, L.

G. Sansone, E. Benedetti, F. Calegari, C. Vozzi, L. Avaldi, R. Flammini, L. Poletto, P. Villoresi, C. Altucci, R. Velotta, S. Stagira, S. De Silvestri, and M. Nisoli, “Isolated single-cycle attosecond pulses,” Science 314(5798), 443–446 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Baba, T.

M. Burresi, R. J. P. Engelen, A. Opheij, D. van Oosten, D. Mori, T. Baba, and L. Kuipers, “Observation of polarization singularities at the nanoscale,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 102(3), 033902 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bandrauk, A. D.

H. Niikura, F. Legare, R. Hasbani, A. D. Bandrauk, M. Y. Ivanov, D. M. Villeneuve, and P. B. Corkum, “Sub-laser-cycle electron pulses for probing molecular dynamics,” Nature 417(6892), 917–922 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bauer, M.

M. Aeschlimann, M. Bauer, D. Bayer, T. Brixner, F. J. Garcia de Abajo, W. Pfeiffer, M. Rohmer, C. Spindler, and F. Steeb, “Adaptive subwavelength control of nano-optical fields,” Nature 446(7133), 301–304 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bayer, D.

M. Aeschlimann, M. Bauer, D. Bayer, T. Brixner, F. J. Garcia de Abajo, W. Pfeiffer, M. Rohmer, C. Spindler, and F. Steeb, “Adaptive subwavelength control of nano-optical fields,” Nature 446(7133), 301–304 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Benedetti, E.

G. Sansone, E. Benedetti, F. Calegari, C. Vozzi, L. Avaldi, R. Flammini, L. Poletto, P. Villoresi, C. Altucci, R. Velotta, S. Stagira, S. De Silvestri, and M. Nisoli, “Isolated single-cycle attosecond pulses,” Science 314(5798), 443–446 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bergman, D. J.

M. I. Stockman, S. V. Faleev, and D. J. Bergman, “Coherent control of femtosecond energy localization in nanosystems,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 88(6), 067402 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Betz, M.

N. Rotenberg, M. Betz, and H. M. van Driel, “Ultrafast all-optical coupling of light to surface plasmon polaritons on plain metal surfaces,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 105(1), 017402 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Boccara, A. C.

S. Grésillon, L. Aigouy, A. C. Boccara, J. C. Rivoal, X. Quelin, C. Desmarest, P. Gadenne, V. A. Shubin, A. K. Sarychev, and V. M. Shalaev, “Experimental observation of localized optical excitations in random metal-dielectric films,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 82(22), 4520–4523 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Bor, Z.

Z. Bor, “Distortion of femtosecond laser pulses in lenses and lens systems,” J. Mod. Opt. 35(12), 1907–1918 (1988).
[CrossRef]

Bormann, R.

R. Bormann, M. Gulde, A. Weismann, S. V. Yalunin, and C. Ropers, “Tip-enhanced strong-field photoemission,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 105(14), 147601 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Bourillot, E.

E. Devaux, A. Dereux, E. Bourillot, J.-C. Weeber, Y. Lacroute, J.-P. Goudonnet, and C. Girard, “Local detection of the optical magnetic field in the near zone of dielectric samples,” Phys. Rev. B 62(15), 10504–10514 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Bowlan, P.

Brakenhoff, G. J.

M. Müller, J. Squier, R. Wolleschensky, U. Simon, and G. J. Brakenhoff, “Dispersion pre-compensation of 15 femtosecond optical pulses for high-numerical-aperture objectives,” J. Microsc. 191(2), 141–150 (1998).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bratschitsch, R.

T. Hanke, G. Krauss, D. Träutlein, B. Wild, R. Bratschitsch, and A. Leitenstorfer, “Efficient nonlinear light emission of single gold optical antennas driven by few-cycle near-infrared pulses,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 103(25), 257404 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Brixner, T.

M. Aeschlimann, M. Bauer, D. Bayer, T. Brixner, F. J. Garcia de Abajo, W. Pfeiffer, M. Rohmer, C. Spindler, and F. Steeb, “Adaptive subwavelength control of nano-optical fields,” Nature 446(7133), 301–304 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Burresi, M.

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Supplementary Material (1)

» Media 1: AVI (1793 KB)     

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Figures (7)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic of the experimental set-up. Few-cycle pulses with 5.9-fs-duration and a spectrum extending from 650 to 1050 nm are generated in a Ti:sapphire oscillator. Pulse dispersion is controlled by a set of chirped mirrors and a pair of wedges. A pair of collinearly propagating pulses is generated in a dispersion-balanced Michelson interferometer, expanded in beam size in a reflective telescope and focused through different microscope objectives. Their temporal intensity profile is measured by an interferometric autocorrelator before and after focusing. The spatial intensity profile is probed by scanning an aluminum-coated near-field optical fiber, mounted on a piezo stage, through the focus.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Interferometric autocorrelation (IAC) traces of different pulses: (a) IAC of the incident laser pulse (red line) and a simulated IAC trace (black dotted line) expected for chirp-free, bandwidth-limited pulses with the measured laser spectrum shown in the inset. (b) IAC trace in the focus of a conventional Nikon extra long-working distance 60x microscope objective with a numerical aperture of NA = 0.7 (solid green line). The pulse is broadened to Δ t = 810 fs due to the overall dispersion of the objective. The orange line shows a simulation with φ 2 = 1800 fs2. (c) IAC in the focus of an all-reflective Schwarzschild objective with a NA of 0.5. The time structure of the pulse remains essentially undistorted.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Single-frame excerpt at z 0 = 0 µm from the movie sequence (Media 1) showing the spatial intensity profile I ( x , y , z 0 ) of 6-fs laser pulses near the focus of a Schwarzschild-objective with a NA of 0.5. I ( x , y , z 0 ) is recorded by scanning an aluminum-coated near field optical fiber with an opening of 300 nm through the focus. The light collected by the fiber is measured by a photomultiplier. The scan-range in z-direction, i.e., along the axis of the objective is 9.5 µm with a step size of 0.25 µm between each cross section. Cross sections I ( x , y , z 0 ) , taken with a pixel size of 0.25 µm, are shown in a scan range of 5 x 5 µm2.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

(a) Spatial intensity profile I ( x , y , 0 ) of a 6-fs-laser pulse in the focal plane of a 36x Schwarzschild objective with a NA of 0.5. I ( x , y , 0 ) is probed by scanning an aluminum coated near-field optical fiber probe with an aperture of 300 nm through the focus. (b)-(d) Simulations of I ( x , 0 , 0 ) , i.e., a cross section along the red line in (a), based on a wave equation model. (b) Simulations of I ( x , 0 , 0 ) for different NA and a wave vector spectrum extending from k min = 0.4 2 π N A / λ to k max = 2 π N A / λ . (c) I ( x , 0 , 0 ) for NA = 0.4 and different k min . (d) Experimental intensity profile I(x,0,0) (red open circles) and optimized fit obtained for NA = 0.4 and k min = 0.6 k max (black solid line). The blue dotted line shows a fit using the nominal NA = 0.7 and a restricted Gaussian k -spectrum.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

(a) Spatial intensity profile I ( x , y , 0 ) of a 6-fs-laser pulse in the focal plane of a 60x extra long working distance microscope objective with a NA of 0.7. (b) Experimental intensity profile I ( x , 0 , 0 ) (red open circles, taken across the red line in (a)) and optimized fit obtained for NA = 0.6. (black solid line). The blue dotted line shows a fit using the nominal NA = 0.7 and a restricted Gaussian k -spectrum.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Simultaneous measurement of the spatial and temporal profile of a 6-fs laser pulse in the focus of an all-reflective Schwarzschild objective. (a) The laser is focused to the apex of a sharp gold tip. Optical field enhancement results in multi-photon induced emission of electrons from the tip apex. The electrons are accelerated towards a microchannel plate (MCP)-detector by applying a small bias voltage. Their count-rate I e l ( r ) is detected as a function of the relative position r of tip and focus. A Photodiode (PD) is used to facilitate tip positioning. (b) Electron count-rate I ( x , y , 0 ) in the focal plane of the objective. The incident laser is polarized parallel to the tip axis. (c) IAC trace recorded by measuring the electron emission rate I ( r = 0 , Δ t ) as a function of time delay Δ t between a pair of 6-fs pulses focused onto the tip apex.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Comparison of the nonlinear (shown left) and the linear measurement (right) of the focus area using the Schwarzschild objective. While for the linear measurement, the diameter has been determined to about 1.0 µm, the nonlinear experiment with the electron yield as the intensity signal results to a focus diameter of 0.5 µm. The reduction in beam diameter by a factor of two can be well explained by the nonlinear imaging process of the electron generation.

Equations (2)

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E ˜ ( k ) A ˜ ( k , ω ) e i φ ( k x , k y , ω ) e ^ x
φ ( θ , ω ) = φ ( 0 , ω 0 ) + φ ω | ω 0 ( ω ω 0 ) + 1 2 2 φ ω 2 | ω 0 ( ω ω 0 ) 2 + φ θ | 0 θ + 1 2 2 φ θ 2 | 0 θ 2 + 1 2 2 φ θ φ | ( ω 0 , 0 ) θ ( ω ω 0 ) + ... ,

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