MURI MIR
MIR Strong-Field Interaction Studies, Remote Sensing, Directed Energy, Tabletop Coherent Short Wavelength Light Sources, Compact Particle Accelerators, MIR Laser Technology

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For nearly a half century, investigations of a strong field laser-matter interaction have resulted in new fundamental discoveries and have fueled numerous applications. Historically, the advancement of strong field (SF) physics depended upon a symbiotic relationship between laser engineering and scientific discovery – new lasers enable science & applications while new discovery further drives innovative optical engineering. Although highly successful, present day laser technology has restricted the majority of SF studies to a narrow spectral window of visible & near infrared (NIR) wavelengths. This is now recognized as a consequential limitation, because over the last decade it has become clear that all SF phenomena benefit when they are driven at longer mid-infrared (MIR) wavelengths. At the present time we stand at a crossroad for discovery, where the road toward novel MIR technology can again transform SF physics, both our understanding of it and its applications. In fact, as presented in this proposal, increasing the wavelength is a faster, more robust path towards new physics than even increasing the intensity. The MURI MIR team will seize this opportunity with a broad in-depth research program aimed at advancing experiments, theory and technology for MIR SF interaction studies. In addition, our program is consciously constructed to directly connect these studies to Department of Defense (DoD) relevant applications in remote sensing, directed energy, tabletop coherent short wavelength light sources, compact particle accelerators and MIR laser technology. 
“For nearly a half century, investigations of a strong field laser-matter interaction have resulted in new fundamental discoveries and have fueled numerous applications.”
Our team encompasses five linked thrust areas. Four of these thrusts focus on SF MIR science in fundamental ionization, filamentation in air, generation of coherent harmonic radiation and MIR driven ion & electron laser-plasma accelerators. The continuity of topics is anchored by foundational studies in simple systems and evolves across thrust areas to greater complexity. Recognizing lessons from the past, the fifth thrust is devoted to the development of novel MIR laser technology to advance our science thrust. The MURI MIR team is an alliance between 6 co-PIs in 5 US universities and 6 co-PIs at Imperial College in the UK. The team also forms key collaborative alliances with world leading laboratories. Overall there is balance in experiment & theory, complementary expertise, capabilities and educational value on both sides of the Atlantic. The team members are recognized leaders in MIR physics and as such bring competency & state-of-the-art MIR facilities to the program. The team’s ultimate objective is to translate SF physics from the well-studied NIR into the unexplored realm of the MIR by exploiting basic SF scaling laws as a roadmap for discovering new fundamental and applied interactions.
RESEARCH
ATOMIC / MOLECULAR IONIZATION
MIR FS LASER FILAMENTATION IN AIR
HIGH HARMONIC GENERATION
LASER-PLASMA PARTICLE ACCELERATION
MIR LASER TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
MURI THRUST 1:
ATOMIC/MOLECULAR IONIZATION

PIs: DiMauro (OSU), Marangos, Tisch (Imperial), Schafer (t) (LSU), Ivanov (t) (Imperial), 3 ¼ postdoctoral researchers, 3 graduate students

Collaborators: Agostini, Blaga, Chowdhury (OSU), Averbukh (t), Edelson-Averbukh (t), Frasinki (Imperial), Lopata (t) (LSU), (t) indicates theorists

The Thrust 1 frontier is a comprehensive investigation of the fundamental interaction of matter with intense, few-cycle ultrafast mid-infrared (MIR) radiation in systems spanning isolated atoms/molecules to nano-scale to macroscopic materials.

Thrust 1 will impact our basic knowledge of ionization in intense MIR fields. We will use advanced MIR sources, particle detectors and theoretical approaches to study both ionization dynamics and the effect that a field-driven EWP has on the production of energetic electrons & photons, multiply charged ions, and on the effective band structure of light-driven solids.

MURI Thrust 1 Synergy: The defining features of the Thrust 1 collaboration are the strong synergy and balance between theory and experiment and the combination of the most advanced analytical & numerical theoretical approaches. The interplay of Thrust 5 technology and Thrust 1 science will directly enhanced MIR metrology. Thrust 1 researchers will lay the foundation for the more complex interactions studied in filaments, HHG and particle acceleration.

The key shared facilities used by Thrust 1 are available at OSU and Imperial College and include existing kilohertz MIR sources covering 1-5 μm, state-of-the-art electron & ion analyzers and large scale computational facilities at LSU and Imperial College. The PIs also have access to the ALLS facility (Montreal) for higher intensity studies. 

MURI THRUST 2:
MIR FS LASER FILAMENTATION IN AIR

PIs: Polynkin (UA), DiMauro (OSU), Ivanov (t) (Imperial), Schafer (t) (LSU), Downer (UT), 4 postdoctoral researchers, 3 graduate students

Collaborators: Gaarde (t) (LSU), Couairon (t) (Palaiseau), Le`gare` (ALLS), Austin, Zair (Imperial). (t) indicates theorists

The Thrust 2 frontier is to develop a solid understanding of MIR filamentation in air, from the fundamental interplay of the microscopic and macroscopic interactions, to the advanced applications of MIR filaments to long range energy transport and remote sensing. Understanding, modeling, and characterizing the ultrafast material response at the sub-cycle level, necessitated by the extended duration of the MIR optical cycle, goes beyond the current state of the art.

Thrust 2 will impact our understanding and control of filamentary MIR propagation in air, which is expected to allow for significantly higher and more uniform energy transport per filament. Our studies enable applications such as long-range guidance of electrical discharges, remote air lasing, and atmospheric sensing through THz fingerprinting of complex molecules. 

MURI Thrust 2 Synergy: Both theory and experiment will rely heavily on each other through the prediction/measurement/analysis of characteristic parameters and behaviors. Ionization models developed in Thrust 1 will be essential inputs for our propagation codes, and MIR HHG explored in Thrust 3 will be leveraged for advanced diagnostics. The advanced plasma diagnostics developed by UT will allow unprecedented filament visualization.

The key shared facilities include current and future MIR laser sources at UA, ALLS (Montreal), UCF and Kirtland AFB, advanced single-shot optical and plasma diagnostics at UA and UT, and current and future state-of-the-art numerical models of microscopic and macroscopic MIR-laser-matter interactions at LSU and Palaiseau. 

MURI THRUST 3:
HIGH HARMONIC GENERATION

PIs: Chang (UCF), DiMauro (OSU), Marangos, Tisch, Ivanov (t) (Imperial), 1 ¾ postdoctoral researchers, 3 graduate students

Collaborators: Agostini, Blaga (OSU), Le`gare` (ALLS), Karpowicz, Krause (MPQ). (t) indicates theorist

The Thrust 3 frontier is to understand the mechanisms of HHG in atoms, large molecules, clusters and condensed matter driven by MIR lasers. New approaches for increasing the efficiency using synthesized multi-chromatic fields and novel targets will be examined. In condensed phases, HHG spectroscopy will probe the structure and dynamics of materials.

Thrust 3 will impact our knowledge of the processes involved in coherent emission of soft x-rays enabled by intense MIR and synthesized MIR laser fields. It will lead to tabletop short wavelength light sources with high photon flux. MIR pumping is ideally suited for HHG from molecules, clusters, bulk solids and liquids opening new opportunities for time resolved probing of the SF response of matter.

MURI Thrust 3 Synergy: This thrust has an essential synergy with Thrust 1 since ionization plays a critical role as the first step in HHG. There is also a natural interplay with Thrusts 5 as new MIR sources with higher power enhance the HHG source characteristics while higher reprate MIR systems will bring into reach HHG spectroscopy measurements of delicate materials.

The key shared facilities at UCF, OSU, Imperial College, MPQ and ALLS will be used for studying HHG in gases, crystals, clusters, molecules and liquids, which includes existing and new MIR driving lasers, and ultraviolet and x-ray spectrometers. Large scale computational facilities at Imperial College are available to model HHG in macroscopic media. 

MURI THRUST 4:
LASER / PLASMA PARTICLE ACCELERATION

PIs: Downer, Shvets(t) (UT); Mangles, Najmudin, Smith (Imperial); 4 postdoctoral researchers, 4 graduate students. (t) indicates theorist

The Thrust 4 frontier will explore the first laboratory-based laser-plasma electron and ion accelerators driven by MIR laser pulses and explore their unique properties as extremely compact particle sources via a balance of experiment and simulation.

Thrust 4 will impact all accelerator-based science by producing compact sources of higher charge and better beam quality with greater tolerance to target imperfections or focusing optic damage than existing NIR schemes. The work will contribute to our knowledge of plasma-based acceleration since MIR-driven plasma structures are more amenable to experimental visualization allowing unprecedented validation of numerical models.

MURI Thrust 4 Synergy: Experiments at UT & Imperial will benchmark simulations by characterizing particle beam output and also directly visualize the laser-driven plasma structures, thus providing an unprecedented comparison between experiment and theory. Thrust 4 will make direct use of MIR laser systems developed in Thrust 5. Plasma diagnostic methods used to visualize laser wakefields will also be applied to filament structures in Thrust 2.

The key shared facilities used by Thrust 4 include multi-terawatt MIR laser systems at IC (1.8 μm), UCF (2 μm) & BNL (10 μm), and high-performance computation at UT and Imperial.

MURI THRUST 5:
MIR LASER TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

PIs: DiMauro (OSU), Smith (Imperial College), Chang (UCF), 1 postdoctoral researcher, and 2 graduate students

Collaborators: Blaga (OSU), Karpowicz, Krausz (MPQ), Legare (ALLS)

The Thrust 5 frontier is to exploit new MIR materials, develop novel amplifier architecture and metrology for enabling routine applications with intense MIR lasers.

Thrust 5 will impact the frontiers of Thrusts 1-4, as well as contributing to fundamental & applied science relevant to a broad range of DoD interest using intense ultrafast MIR lasers.

MURI Thrust 5 Synergy: The Thrust 5 development of MIR sources & metrology merged to Thrusts 1-4 experimental needs will by necessity enhance the collaborative efforts by colocation of research themes and exchange of students. Also an exchange program with Prof. Krausz (MPQ) will be established with OSU supported by institutional cost-sharing.

The key shared facilities enhance existing or under development sources at OSU and Imperial College. Additional MIR sources & expertise are available at UCF (Chang). Furthermore, collaborative agreements with ALLS (Légaré), MPQ (Krausz) & BNL ATF (Pogorelsky) provide access to supplementary MIR sources.

PEOPLE

Principal Investigator
member
Dane r. austin


Department of Physics
team

Professor Louis F. DiMauro
The Ohio State University
Department of Physics
191 W. Woodruff Avenue
Columbus OH 43210
Phone: 614-688-5726
Email: dimauro.6@osu.edu 

Professor Louis F. DiMauro

Co-Principal Investigators

United States
member


team

4111 Libra Drive
Physical Sciences Bldg. 430 Orlando, FL 32816-2385
(407) 823-4442

Zenghu Chang
member


team

Department of Physics
University of Texas at Austin 
Austin, TX  78712  USA
512-471-6054

Michael Downer
member


team

College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
1630 E. University Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85721
(520) 405-3767

Pavel Polynkin
member


team

Gennady Shvets
The University of Texas at Austin Department of Physics One University Station C1500
RLM 11.216
512-471-7371

Gennady Shvets
member


team

Kenneth Schafer
Louisiana State University
Department for Physics and Astronomy
222-B Nicholson Hall, Tower Drive
Baton Rouge LA 70803
225-578-0466

Kenneth Schafer

Co-Principal Investigators

Imperial College London
member


team

The Blackett Laboratory
Imperial College London
London SW7 2AZ, UK
+49 306 392 1210

Misha Ivanov
member


team

The Blackett Laboratory
Imperial College London
London SW7 2AZ, UK
+44 (0) 20 74949643

Stuart Mangles
member


team

Jon Marangos
Imperial College London Department of Physics
208 Blackett Laboratory
South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ, UK
44 (0) 20 7594 7857

Jon Marangos
member
Dane r. austin
team

The Blackett Laboratory
Imperial College London
London SW7 2BW
+44 20 7594 7655

Zulfikar Najmudin
member


team

John Tisch
Imperial College London Department of Physics
205 Blackett Laboratory South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ, UK
44 (0) 20 7594 7710

John Tisch
member
Dane r. austin The Plasma Physics Group team

The Blackett Laboratory
Imperial College London
Prince Consort Road
London SW7 2BZ, UK
+44 (0)207-594-7866

Roland Smith

Collaborators

The Ohio State University

member


team

Physics
The Ohio State University
191 W Woodruff Ave
Columbus, OH 43210
614-247-8392

Enam Chowdhury
member


team

Pierre Agostini
4190 Physics Research Building Columbus OH 43210

Pierre Agostini
member


team

Cosmin Blaga
4116 Physics Research Building
Columbus OH 43210

Cosmin Blaga

Collaborators

Imperial College London

member
Dane r. austin


Department of Physics
team

Department of Physics
Imperial College London
London SW7 2AZ UK 
+4420 7594 7520

Dane R. Austin
member


team

Vitali Averbukh
Imperial College London Department of Physics
209 Blackett Laboratory
South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ, UK
44 (0) 20 7594 7746

Vitali Averbukh
member


team

Marina Edelson-Averbukh Imperial College London Department of Chemistry
531 Chemistry
South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ, UK
44 (0) 20 7594 1138

Marina Edelson-Averbukh
member


team

Lesser Frasinski
Imperial College London Department of Physics
206 Blackett Laboratory
South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ, UK
44 (0) 20 7594 7858

Leszek Frasinki
member


team

Amelie Zair
Imperial College London
Department of Physics
6M75 Blackett Laboratory
South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ, UK
44 (0) 20 7594 7720

Amelle Zair

Collaborators

Louisiana State University, E'Cole Polytechnique, Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics and INRS-EMT

member


team

Mette Gaarde
Louisiana State University Department of Physics and Astronomy
215-B Nicholson Hall, Tower Drive
Baton Rouge LA 70803
225-578-0889

Mette Gaarde
Louisiana State University
member


team

Kenneth Lopaka
Louisiana State University Department of Chemistry
742 Choppin Hall
Baton Rouge LA 70803
225-578-2063

Ken Lopata
Louisiana State University
member


team

Arnaud Couairon
Centre de Physique Theorique Ecole Polytechnique
F-91128 Palaiseau
France
33 1 69 33 42 24

Arnaud Couairon
E'Cole Polytechnique
member


team

1650 Boul. Lionel-Boulet
Varennes, Qc Canada J3X1S2
514-228-6871

François Légaré
INRS-EMT (ALLS)
member


team

Ferenc Krausz
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
Hans-Kopfermann-Str.1
85748 Garching
Bayern
49 89 3 29 05 602

Ferenc Krausz
Max Planck Institute
for Quantum Optics 
member


team

Nicholas Karpowicz
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
Hans-Kopfermann-Str.1
85748 Garching
Bayern
49 89 3 29 05 689

Nick Karpowicz
Max Planck Institute
for Quantum Optics