Polarization of high-order harmonics
Summary, in English
We report measurements and calculations of the polarization state of high-order harmonics generated by a 790-nm Ti:sapphire laser. The problem of completely characterizing the polarization state of a partially polarized radiation in the XUV range is discussed in detail. The comparison between several gases, xenon, argon and neon, and different orders, from the 17th to the 33rd, shows that the rotation angle and ellipticity strongly depends on the position of the harmonic in the spectrum, and in particular, whether it is in the cutoff or in the plateau. In the plateau, the rotation angle is quite large, and the ellipticity follows that of the fundamental, remaining, however, smaller. The radiation is only partially polarized. In contrast, in the cutoff, both rotation angle and ellipticity remain small, independently of the laser ellipticity. Our experimental results compare well with theoretical predictions including the single-atom response and propagation effects.