Abstract

The first observation of isolated attosecond pulses by Hentschel et al. [Nature 414, 509 (2001) ] resulted from an experiment that left the exact mechanism of their generation unresolved. A complete simulation of the experiment reveals the reason for its success: single pulses were efficiently isolated from two or more generated pulses by spatial filtering in the far field. Our explanation suggests a new, simple paradigm for the production of isolated attosecond bursts. We show that this method can be used, in conjunction with carrier-envelope phase stabilization, to select single attosecond pulses by use of 10fs driving pulses.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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