Abstract

With high-harmonic generation (HHG), spatially and temporally coherent XUV to soft x-ray (100 nm to 10 nm) table-top sources can be realized by focusing a driving infrared (IR) laser on a gas target. For applications such as coherent diffraction imaging, holography, plasma diagnostics, or pump–probe experiments, it is desirable to have control over the wave front (WF) of the HHs to maximize the number of XUV photons on target or to tailor the WF. Here, we demonstrate control of the XUV WF by tailoring the driving IR WF with a deformable mirror. The WFs of both IR and XUV beams are monitored with WF sensors. We present a systematic study of the dependence of the aberrations of the HHs on the aberrations of the driving IR laser and explain the observations with propagation simulations. We show that we can control the astigmatism of the HHs by changing the astigmatism of the driving IR laser without compromising the HH generation efficiency with a WF quality from $ \lambda /8 $ to $ \lambda /13.3 $. This allows us to shape the XUV beam without changing any XUV optical element.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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