The electric field waveform of a light field can be used to unlock a detailed recording of its interaction with matter, but accessing it requires a measurement with subfemtosecond temporal resolution. The attworld-team now have demonstrated nonlinear photoconductive sampling of light fields at optical frequencies in ambient air. The resulting detection method provides broadband electric field measurement in an inexpensive setup using a self-healing medium. A direct comparison is made between detection in air and in quartz, validating the technique up to 0.7 PHz. This provides both a simple route toward field metrology and a new platform for future studies in attosecond physics without the need for complex vacuum setups or sophisticated sample preparation.

Original publication:

Dmitry Zimin,Matthew Weidman, Johannes Schotz, Matthias F. Kling, Vladislav S. Yakovlev, Ferenc Krausz, Nicholas Karpowicz

Petahertz-scale nonlinear photoconductive sampling in air

Optica 8, 586 (2021)