Foreword.- Preface.- Phase Controlled Femtosecond Lasers for Sensitive, Precise and Wide Bandwidth Nonlinear Spectroscopy.- Supercontinuum and High-Order Harmonics: "Extreme" Coherent Sources for Atomic Spectroscopy and Attophysics.- The Measurement of Ultrashort Light - Simple Devices, Complex Pulses.- Femtosecond Combs for Precision Metrology.- Infrared Precision Spectroscopy using Femtosecond-Laser-Based Optical Frequency-Comb Synthesizers.- Real-Time Spectroscopy of Molecular Vibrations with Sub-5-Fs Visible Pulses.- Vibrational Echo Correlation Spectroscopy.- Spectrally Resolved Two-Colour Femtosecond Photon Echoes.- Optimal Control of Atomic, Molecular and Electron Dynamics with Tailored Femtosecond Laser Pulses.- Coherent Control of Atomic Dynamics with Chirped and Shaped Pulses.- Ultrafast Processes of Highly Excited Wide-Gap Dielectric Thin Films.- Index.
The embryonic development of femtoscience stems from advances made in the generation of ultrashort laser pulses. Beginning with mode-locking of glass lasers in the 1960s, the development of dye lasers brought the pulse width down from picoseconds to femtoseconds. The breakthrough in solid state laser pulse generation provided the current reliable table-top laser systems capable of average power of about 1 watt, and peak power density of easily watts per square centimeter, with pulse widths in the range of four to eight femtoseconds. Pulses with peak power density reaching watts per square centimeter have been achieved in laboratory settings and, more recently, pulses of sub-femtosecond duration have been successfully generated. As concepts and methodologies have evolved over the past two decades, the realm of ultrafast science has become vast and exciting and has impacted many areas of chemistry, biology and physics, and other fields such as materials science, electrical engineering, and optical communication. In molecular science the explosive growth of this research is for fundamental reasons. In femtochemistry and femtobiology chemical bonds form and break on the femtosecond time scale, and on this scale of time we can freeze the transition states at configurations never before seen. Even for n- reactive physical changes one is observing the most elementary of molecular processes. On a time scale shorter than the vibrational and rotational periods the ensemble behaves coherently as a single-molecule trajectory.
This volume surveys this recent growth in eleven chapters written by leading international researchers in the field. It includes sections on femtosecond optical frequency combs, soft x-ray femtosecond laser sources, and attosecond laser sources. In addition, the contributors address real-time spectroscopy of molecular vibrations with sub-5-fs pulses and multidimensional femtosecond coherent spectroscopies for studying molecular and electron dynamics. Novel methods for measuring and characterizing ultrashort laser pulses and ultrashort pulses of light are also described. The topics covered are revolutionizing the fields of biomedical imaging, electron dynamics, ultrahigh precision spectroscopy, and optical frequency metrology. Surveying the latest advances in ultrafast lasers, Femtosecond Laser Spectroscopy will be of interest to both researchers and graduate students.