Spatiotemporal Coherent Control of Lattice Vibrational Waves

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Science  17 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5605, pp. 374-377
DOI: 10.1126/science.1078726

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We achieved automated optical control over coherent lattice responses that were both time- and position-dependent across macroscopic length scales. In our experiments, spatiotemporal femtosecond pulse shaping was used to generate excitation light fields that were directed toward distinct regions of crystalline samples, producing terahertz-frequency lattice vibrational waves that emanated outward from their multiple origins at lightlike speeds. Interferences among the waves resulted in fully specified far-field responses, including tilted, focusing, or amplified wavefronts. Generation and coherent amplification of terahertz traveling waves and terahertz phased-array generation also were demonstrated.

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