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Published August 8, 2018 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Single-shot real-time femtosecond imaging of temporal focusing


While the concept of focusing usually applies to the spatial domain, it is equally applicable to the time domain. Real-time imaging of temporal focusing of single ultrashort laser pulses is of great significance in exploring the physics of the space–time duality and finding diverse applications. The drastic changes in the width and intensity of an ultrashort laser pulse during temporal focusing impose a requirement for femtosecond-level exposure to capture the instantaneous light patterns generated in this exquisite phenomenon. Thus far, established ultrafast imaging techniques either struggle to reach the desired exposure time or require repeatable measurements. We have developed single-shot 10-trillion-frame-per-second compressed ultrafast photography (T-CUP), which passively captures dynamic events with 100-fs frame intervals in a single camera exposure. The synergy between compressed sensing and the Radon transformation empowers T-CUP to significantly reduce the number of projections needed for reconstructing a high-quality three-dimensional spatiotemporal datacube. As the only currently available real-time, passive imaging modality with a femtosecond exposure time, T-CUP was used to record the first-ever movie of non-repeatable temporal focusing of a single ultrashort laser pulse in a dynamic scattering medium. T-CUP's unprecedented ability to clearly reveal the complex evolution in the shape, intensity, and width of a temporally focused pulse in a single measurement paves the way for single-shot characterization of ultrashort pulses, experimental investigation of nonlinear light-matter interactions, and real-time wavefront engineering for deep-tissue light focusing.

Additional Information

© 2018 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Received 30 March 2018; Revised 20 June 2018; Accepted 21 June 2018; Published 08 August 2018. The authors thank Dr. Zhengyan Li from the University of Ottawa, Dr. Shian Zhang from East China Normal University, and Dr. Liang Gao from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for fruitful discussion. The authors also acknowledge Yujia Chen and Chiye Li for experimental assistance and Professor James Ballard for close reading of the manuscript. This work was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grants DP1 EB016986 (NIH Director's Pioneer Award) and R01 CA186567 (NIH Director's Transformative Research Award). Author Contributions: J.L. designed and built the system and conducted all the experiments. L.Z. developed the reconstruction algorithm. J.L. and L.Z. analyzed the data and drafted the manuscript. L.V.W. supervised the project. All authors were involved in revising the manuscript. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Attached Files

Published - s41377-018-0044-7.pdf

Supplemental Material - 41377_2018_44_MOESM1_ESM.pdf

Supplemental Material - 41377_2018_44_MOESM2_ESM.mov

Supplemental Material - 41377_2018_44_MOESM3_ESM.mov

Supplemental Material - 41377_2018_44_MOESM4_ESM.mov

Supplemental Material - 41377_2018_44_MOESM5_ESM.mov

Supplemental Material - 41377_2018_44_MOESM6_ESM.mov

Supplemental Material - 41377_2018_44_MOESM7_ESM.mov


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