High-harmonic generation from an epsilon-near-zero material

Yuanmu Yang, Jian Lu, Alejandro Manjavacas, Ting S. Luk, Hanzhe Liu, Kyle Kelley, Jon Paul Maria, Evan L. Runnerstrom, Michael B. Sinclair, Shambhu Ghimire, Igal Brener

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

143 Scopus citations


High-harmonic generation (HHG) is a signature optical phenomenon of strongly driven, nonlinear optical systems. Specifically, the understanding of the HHG process in rare gases has played a key role in the development of attosecond science1. Recently, HHG has also been reported in solids, providing novel opportunities such as controlling strong-field and attosecond processes in dense optical media down to the nanoscale2. Here, we report HHG from a low-loss, indium-doped cadmium oxide thin film by leveraging the epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) effect3–8, whereby the real part of the material’s permittivity in certain spectral ranges vanishes, as well as the associated large resonant enhancement of the driving laser field. We find that ENZ-assisted harmonics exhibit a pronounced spectral redshift as well as linewidth broadening, resulting from the photo induced electron heating and the consequent time-dependent ENZ wavelength of the material. Our results provide a new platform to study strong-field and ultrafast electron dynamics in ENZ materials, reveal new degrees of freedom for spectral and temporal control of HHG, and open up the possibilities of compact solid-state attosecond light sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1022-1026
Number of pages5
JournalNature Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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