Current Role at Stanford


Laser Scientist, Matter in Extreme Conditions instrument of the Linac Coherent Light Source
Integrated Laser Systems Scientist, MEC-Upgrade Project

Education & Certifications


  • PhD, CREOL, the College of Optics and Photonics, University of Central Florida, Optics and Photonics (2015)
  • MS, Department of Physics, Brigham Young University, Physics (2011)
  • BS, Department of Physics, Brigham Young University, Physics (2009)

Professional Interests


Eric's primary research interests include:
- the development of novel optical sources,
- the mitigation of high-power laser problems, and
- the re-imagination of common approaches to laser design and diagnostics.

Professional Affiliations and Activities


  • Board Member of the Cañada College Engineering department, Cañada College (2020 - Present)
  • Program Committee Member for the CLEO conference's sub-committee on Ultrafast Science of Attosecond, X-Ray Free-Electron-Laser, and Ultra-Intense Light, Optica (2020 - Present)
  • Board Member of the Technical Group for Short Wavelength Sources and Attosecond/High Field Physics, Optica (2018 - Present)
  • Member, Optica (2010 - Present)

All Publications


  • Probing ultrafast laser plasma processes inside solids with resonant small-angle x-ray scattering PHYSICAL REVIEW RESEARCH Gaus, L., Bischoff, L., Bussmann, M., Cunningham, E., Curry, C. B., Juncheng, E., Galtier, E., Gauthier, M., Garcia, A., Garten, M., Glenzer, S., Grenzer, J., Gutt, C., Hartley, N. J., Huang, L., Huebner, U., Kraus, D., Lee, H., McBride, E. E., Metzkes-Ng, J., Nagler, B., Nakatsutsumi, M., Nikl, J., Ota, M., Pelka, A., Prencipe, I., Randolph, L., Roedel, M., Sakawa, Y., Schlenvoigt, H., Smid, M., Treffert, F., Voigt, K., Zeil, K., Cowan, T. E., Schramm, U., Kluge, T. 2021; 3 (4)
  • Measuring the structure and equation of state of polyethylene terephthalate at megabar pressures SCIENTIFIC REPORTS Luetgert, J., Vorberger, J., Hartley, N. J., Voigt, K., Roedel, M., Schuster, A. K., Benuzzi-Mounaix, A., Brown, S., Cowan, T. E., Cunningham, E., Doeppner, T., Falcone, R. W., Fletcher, L. B., Galtier, E., Glenzer, S. H., Laso Garcia, A., Gericke, D. O., Heimann, P. A., Lee, H. J., McBride, E. E., Pelka, A., Prencipe, I., Saunders, A. M., Schoelmerich, M., Schoerner, M., Sun, P., Vinci, T., Ravasio, A., Kraus, D. 2021; 11 (1): 12883

    Abstract

    We present structure and equation of state (EOS) measurements of biaxially orientated polyethylene terephthalate (PET, [Formula: see text], also called mylar) shock-compressed to ([Formula: see text]) GPa and ([Formula: see text]) K using in situ X-ray diffraction, Doppler velocimetry, and optical pyrometry. Comparing to density functional theory molecular dynamics (DFT-MD) simulations, we find a highly correlated liquid at conditions differing from predictions by some equations of state tables, which underlines the influence of complex chemical interactions in this regime. EOS calculations from ab initio DFT-MD simulations and shock Hugoniot measurements of density, pressure and temperature confirm the discrepancy to these tables and present an experimentally benchmarked correction to the description of PET as an exemplary material to represent the mixture of light elements at planetary interior conditions.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-021-91769-0

    View details for Web of Science ID 000665062100004

    View details for PubMedID 34145307

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8213800

  • 2D monochromatic x-ray imaging for beam monitoring of an x-ray free electron laser and a high-power femtosecond laser REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS Sawada, H., Trzaska, J., Curry, C. B., Gauthier, M., Fletcher, L. B., Jiang, S., Lee, H. J., Galtier, E. C., Cunningham, E., Dyer, G., Daykin, T. S., Chen, L., Salinas, C., Glenn, G. D., Frost, M., Glenzer, S. H., Ping, Y., Kemp, A. J., Sentoku, Y. 2021; 92 (1): 013510

    Abstract

    In pump-probe experiments with an X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) and a high-power optical laser, spatial overlap of the two beams must be ensured to probe a pumped area with the x-ray beam. A beam monitoring diagnostic is particularly important in short-pulse laser experiments where a tightly focused beam is required to achieve a relativistic laser intensity for generation of energetic particles. Here, we report the demonstration of on-shot beam pointing measurements of an XFEL and a terawatt class femtosecond laser using 2D monochromatic Kα imaging at the Matter in Extreme Conditions end-station of the Linac Coherent Light Source. A thin solid titanium foil was irradiated by a 25-TW laser for fast electron isochoric heating, while a 7.0 keV XFEL beam was used to probe the laser-heated region. Using a spherical crystal imager (SCI), the beam overlap was examined by measuring 4.51 keV Kα x rays produced by laser-accelerated fast electrons and the x-ray beam. Measurements were made for XFEL-only at various focus lens positions, laser-only, and two-beam shots. Successful beam overlapping was observed on ∼58% of all two-beam shots for 10 μm thick samples. It is found that large spatial offsets of laser-induced Kα spots are attributed to imprecise target positioning rather than shot-to-shot laser pointing variations. By applying the Kα measurements to x-ray Thomson scattering measurements, we found an optimum x-ray beam spot size that maximizes scattering signals. Monochromatic x-ray imaging with the SCI could be used as an on-shot beam pointing monitor for XFEL-laser or multiple short-pulse laser experiments.

    View details for DOI 10.1063/5.0014329

    View details for Web of Science ID 000630907400004

    View details for PubMedID 33514225

  • Femtosecond X-Ray Diffraction of Laser-Shocked Forsterite (Mg2SiO4) to 122 GPa JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SOLID EARTH Kim, D., Tracy, S. J., Smith, R. F., Gleason, A. E., Bolme, C. A., Prakapenka, V. B., Appel, K., Speziale, S., Wicks, J. K., Berryman, E. J., Han, S. K., Schoelmerich, M. O., Lee, H., Nagler, B., Cunningham, E. F., Akin, M. C., Asimow, P. D., Eggert, J. H., Duffy, T. S. 2021; 126 (1)
  • Development of a Platform at the Matter in Extreme Conditions End Station for Characterization of Matter Heated by Intense Laser-Accelerated Protons IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PLASMA SCIENCE Bhutwala, K., Bailly-Grandvaux, M., Kim, J., Dozieres, M., Galtier, E., Curry, C. B., Gauthier, M., Cunningham, E., Lee, H., Forestier-Colleoni, P., Higginson, A., Aybar, N., Hua, R., Edghill, B. C., Strehlow, J., Dyer, G. M., Glenzer, S. H., Kim, J. B., Alexander, N., Del Rio, E., Wei, M., Ping, Y., McKelvey, A., Collins, G. W., Beg, F. N., McGuffey, C. 2020; 48 (8): 2751-2758
  • Evidence of shock-compressed stishovite above 300GPa SCIENTIFIC REPORTS Schoelmerich, M. O., Tschentscher, T., Bhat, S., Bolme, C. A., Cunningham, E., Farla, R., Galtier, E., Gleason, A. E., Harmand, M., Inubushi, Y., Katagiri, K., Miyanishi, K., Nagler, B., Ozaki, N., Preston, T. R., Redmer, R., Smith, R. F., Tobase, T., Togashi, T., Tracy, S. J., Umeda, Y., Wollenweber, L., Yabuuchi, T., Zastrau, U., Appel, K. 2020; 10 (1): 10197

    Abstract

    SiO2 is one of the most fundamental constituents in planetary bodies, being an essential building block of major mineral phases in the crust and mantle of terrestrial planets (1-10 ME). Silica at depths greater than 300 km may be present in the form of the rutile-type, high pressure polymorph stishovite (P42/mnm) and its thermodynamic stability is of great interest for understanding the seismic and dynamic structure of planetary interiors. Previous studies on stishovite via static and dynamic (shock) compression techniques are contradictory and the observed differences in the lattice-level response is still not clearly understood. Here, laser-induced shock compression experiments at the LCLS- and SACLA XFEL light-sources elucidate the high-pressure behavior of stishovite on the lattice-level under in situ conditions on the Hugoniot to pressures above 300 GPa. We find stishovite is still (meta-)stable at these conditions, and does not undergo any phase transitions. This contradicts static experiments showing structural transformations to the CaCl2, α-PbO2 and pyrite-type structures. However, rate-limited kinetic hindrance may explain our observations. These results are important to our understanding into the validity of EOS data from nanosecond experiments for geophysical applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-66340-y

    View details for Web of Science ID 000543994900034

    View details for PubMedID 32576908

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7311448

  • Coordination changes in liquid tin under shock compression determined using in situ femtosecond x-ray diffraction APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS Briggs, R., Gorman, M. G., Zhang, S., McGonegle, D., Coleman, A. L., Coppari, F., Morales-Silva, M. A., Smith, R. F., Wicks, J. K., Bolme, C. A., Gleason, A. E., Cunningham, E., Lee, H. J., Nagler, B., McMahon, M. I., Eggert, J. H., Fratanduono, D. E. 2019; 115 (26)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.5127291

    View details for Web of Science ID 000505613600037

  • Pulse contrast enhancement via non-collinear sum-frequency generation with the signal and idler of an optical parametric amplifier APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS Cunningham, E., Galtier, E., Dyer, G., Robinson, J., Fry, A. 2019; 114 (22)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.5108911

    View details for Web of Science ID 000470718700037

  • Evidence for Crystalline Structure in Dynamically-Compressed Polyethylene up to 200 GPa SCIENTIFIC REPORTS Hartley, N. J., Brown, S., Cowan, T. E., Cunningham, E., Doppner, T., Falcone, R. W., Fletcher, L. B., Frydrych, S., Galtier, E., Gamboa, E. J., Garcia, A., Gericke, D. O., Glenzer, S. H., Granados, E., Heimann, P. A., Lee, H. J., MacDonald, M. J., MacKinnon, A. J., McBride, E. E., Nam, I., Neumayer, P., Pak, A., Pelka, A., Prencipe, I., Ravasio, A., Roedel, M., Rohatsch, K., Saunders, A. M., Schoelmerich, M., Schoerner, M., Schuster, A. K., Sun, P., van Driel, T., Vorberger, J., Kraus, D. 2019; 9: 4196

    Abstract

    We investigated the high-pressure behavior of polyethylene (CH2) by probing dynamically-compressed samples with X-ray diffraction. At pressures up to 200 GPa, comparable to those present inside icy giant planets (Uranus, Neptune), shock-compressed polyethylene retains a polymer crystal structure, from which we infer the presence of significant covalent bonding. The A2/m structure which we observe has previously been seen at significantly lower pressures, and the equation of state measured agrees with our findings. This result appears to contrast with recent data from shock-compressed polystyrene (CH) at higher temperatures, which demonstrated demixing and recrystallization into a diamond lattice, implying the breaking of the original chemical bonds. As such chemical processes have significant implications for the structure and energy transfer within ice giants, our results highlight the need for a deeper understanding of the chemistry of high pressure hydrocarbons, and the importance of better constraining planetary temperature profiles.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-40782-5

    View details for Web of Science ID 000460922200032

    View details for PubMedID 30862904

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6414497

  • Interferometry of dipole phase in high harmonics from solids NATURE PHOTONICS Lu, J., Cunningham, E. F., You, Y., Reis, D. A., Ghimire, S. 2019; 13 (2): 96-+
  • Crystal orientation-dependent polarization state of high-order harmonics OPTICS LETTERS You, Y., Lu, J., Cunningham, E. F., Roedel, C., Ghimire, S. 2019; 44 (3): 530–33

    Abstract

    We analyze the crystal orientation-dependent polarization state of extreme ultraviolet high-order harmonics from bulk magnesium oxide crystals subjected to intense linearly polarized laser fields. We find that only along high-symmetry directions do high-order harmonics follow the polarization direction of the laser field. In general, there are strong deviations that depend on harmonic order, strength of the laser field, and crystal orientation. We use a real-space electron trajectory picture to understand the origin of polarization deviations. These results have implications in all-optical probing of electronic band structure in momentum space and valence charge distributions in real space, and in producing attosecond pulses with time-dependent polarization in compact setups.

    View details for DOI 10.1364/OL.44.000530

    View details for Web of Science ID 000457292400017

    View details for PubMedID 30702671

  • Probing periodic potential of crystals via strong-field re-scattering JOURNAL OF PHYSICS B-ATOMIC MOLECULAR AND OPTICAL PHYSICS You, Y., Cunningham, E., Reis, D. A., Ghimire, S. 2018; 51 (11)
  • High-pressure chemistry of hydrocarbons relevant to planetary interiors and inertial confinement fusion Kraus, D., Hartley, N. J., Frydrych, S., Schuster, A. K., Rohatsch, K., Roedel, M., Cowan, T. E., Brown, S., Cunningham, E., van Driel, T., Fletcher, L. B., Galtier, E., Gamboa, E. J., Garcia, A., Gericke, D. O., Granados, E., Heimann, P. A., Lee, H. J., MacDonald, M. J., MacKinnon, A. J., McBride, E. E., Nam, I., Neumayer, P., Pak, A., Pelka, A., Prencipe, I., Ravasio, A., Redmer, R., Saunders, A. M., Schoelmerich, M., Schoerner, M., Sun, P., Turner, S. J., Zettl, A., Falcone, R. W., Glenzer, S. H., Doppner, T., Vorberger, J. AMER INST PHYSICS. 2018

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.5017908

    View details for Web of Science ID 000433961800149

  • Attosecond light sources in the water window JOURNAL OF OPTICS Ren, X., Li, J., Yin, Y., Zhao, K., Chew, A., Wang, Y., Hu, S., Cheng, Y., Cunningham, E., Wu, Y., Chini, M., Chang, Z. 2018; 20 (2)
  • Polarimetry of High Harmonics in Bulk Crystals You, Y., Cunningham, E., Rodel, C., Reis, D. A., Ghimire, S., IEEE IEEE. 2018
  • Phase-coherence of high-order harmonics from bulk crystals using homodyne detection Cunningham, E., You, Y., Reis, D. A., Ghimire, S., IEEE IEEE. 2017
  • Attosecond pulse generation isolated with an asymmetric polarization gating JOURNAL OF MODERN OPTICS Chen, G., Cunningham, E., Chang, Z. 2017; 64 (10-11): 952-959
  • Erratum: 53-attosecond X-ray pulses reach the carbon K-edge. Nature communications Li, J. n., Ren, X. n., Yin, Y. n., Zhao, K. n., Chew, A. n., Cheng, Y. n., Cunningham, E. n., Wang, Y. n., Hu, S. n., Wu, Y. n., Chini, M. n., Chang, Z. n. 2017; 8 (1): 794

    Abstract

    Nature Communications 8:186 doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00321-0 (2017); Article published online: 4 August 2017.

    View details for PubMedID 28970479

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5624924

  • 53-attosecond X-ray pulses reach the carbon K-edge. Nature communications Li, J. n., Ren, X. n., Yin, Y. n., Zhao, K. n., Chew, A. n., Cheng, Y. n., Cunningham, E. n., Wang, Y. n., Hu, S. n., Wu, Y. n., Chini, M. n., Chang, Z. n. 2017; 8 (1): 186

    Abstract

    The motion of electrons in the microcosm occurs on a time scale set by the atomic unit of time-24 attoseconds. Attosecond pulses at photon energies corresponding to the fundamental absorption edges of matter, which lie in the soft X-ray regime above 200 eV, permit the probing of electronic excitation, chemical state, and atomic structure. Here we demonstrate a soft X-ray pulse duration of 53 as and single pulse streaking reaching the carbon K-absorption edge (284 eV) by utilizing intense two-cycle driving pulses near 1.8-μm center wavelength. Such pulses permit studies of electron dynamics in live biological samples and next-generation electronic materials such as diamond.Isolated attosecond pulses are produced using high harmonic generation and sources of these pulses often suffer from low photon flux in soft X-ray regime. Here the authors demonstrate efficient generation and characterization of 53 as pulses with photon energy near the water window.

    View details for PubMedID 28775272

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5543167

  • Polarization gating of high harmonic generation in the water window APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS Li, J., Ren, X., Yin, Y., Cheng, Y., Cunningham, E., Wu, Y., Chang, Z. 2016; 108 (23)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.4953402

    View details for Web of Science ID 000378924700002

  • High-efficiency optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifier in BiB3O6 for generation of 3 mJ, two-cycle, carrier-envelope-phase-stable pulses at 1.7 mu m OPTICS LETTERS Yin, Y., Li, J., Ren, X., Zhao, K., Wu, Y., Cunningham, E., Chang, Z. 2016; 41 (6): 1142-1145

    Abstract

    We produce a 3 mJ, two-cycle (11.4 fs), 1 kHz, carrier-envelope phase (CEP)-stable laser source at 1.7 μm via a three-stage Ti:sapphire-pumped optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifier in BiB3O6. We achieve a pump-to-signal conversion efficiency of 18% in the last stage, which is, to the best of our knowledge, the highest yet achieved for near-octave bandwidth amplification. A f-to-2f measurement shows a CEP instability of 165 mrad over 1 h. This is an ideal light source for generating isolated attosecond pulses in the soft x-ray region.

    View details for DOI 10.1364/OL.41.001142

    View details for Web of Science ID 000373042600018

    View details for PubMedID 26977654

  • Measured photoemission from electron wave packets in a strong laser field OPTICS LETTERS Ware, M., Cunningham, E., Coburn, C., Peatross, J. 2016; 41 (4): 689-692

    Abstract

    We present calibrated measurements of single-photon Thomson scattering from free electrons driven by a laser with intensity 1018  W/cm2. The measurements demonstrate that individual electrons radiate with the strength of point emitters, even when their wave packets spread to the scale of the driving-laser wavelength. The result agrees with predictions of quantum electrodynamics.

    View details for DOI 10.1364/OL.41.000689

    View details for Web of Science ID 000369942900009

    View details for PubMedID 26872164

  • Carrier-envelope phase control of a 10 Hz, 25 TW laser for high-flux extreme ultraviolet quasi-continuum generation APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS Cunningham, E., Wu, Y., Chang, Z. 2015; 107 (20)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.4936156

    View details for Web of Science ID 000365688700008

  • Optical Gating With Asymmetric Field Ratios for Isolated Attosecond Pulse Generation IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS Cunningham, E., Chang, Z. 2015; 21 (5)
  • Radiation from free electrons in a laser focus at 10(18) W/cm(2): modeling of photon yields and required focal conditions JOURNAL OF THE OPTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA B-OPTICAL PHYSICS Tarbox, G., Cunningham, E., Sandberg, R., Peatross, J., Ware, M. 2015; 32 (5): 743-750
  • Quantum Beats in Attosecond Transient Absorption of Krypton Autoionizing States Cheng, Y., Chini, M., Tong, X., Chew, A., Biedermann, J., Wu, Y., Cunningham, E., Chang, Z., IEEE IEEE. 2015
  • Suppression of driving laser in high harmonic generation with a microchannel plate OPTICS LETTERS Zhang, Q., Zhao, K., Li, J., Chini, M., Cheng, Y., Wu, Y., Cunningham, E., Chang, Z. 2014; 39 (12): 3670-3673

    Abstract

    Separating the infrared driving laser from the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) pulses after high-order harmonic generation has been a long-standing difficulty. In this Letter, we propose and demonstrate that the driving laser can be blocked by simply installing a microchannel plate (MCP) into the beam line. In addition to its high damage threshold, the MCP filter also transmits photons over the entire XUV region. This paves the way for attosecond pulse generation with unprecedented bandwidth.

    View details for DOI 10.1364/OL.39.003670

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338870500079

    View details for PubMedID 24978564

  • Coherent phase-matched VUV generation by field-controlled bound states NATURE PHOTONICS Chini, M., Wang, X., Cheng, Y., Wang, H., Wu, Y., Cunningham, E., Li, P., Heslar, J., Telnov, D. A., Chu, S., Chang, Z. 2014; 8 (6): 437-441
  • Carrier-Envelope Phase Stabilization of a 10 Hz, 20 TW Laser for High-Flux Attosecond Pulse Generation Wu, Y., Cunningham, E., Li, J., Chini, M., Chang, Z., IEEE IEEE. 2014
  • Coherent VUV Emission from Field-Controlled Bound States Chini, M., Wang, X., Cheng, Y., Wang, H., Wu, Y., Cunningham, E., Peng-Cheng-Li, Heslar, J., Telnov, D. A., Chu, S., Chang, Z., IEEE IEEE. 2014
  • Generation of high-flux attosecond extreme ultraviolet continuum with a 10 TW laser APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS Wu, Y., Cunningham, E., Zang, H., Li, J., Chini, M., Wang, X., Wang, Y., Zhao, K., Chang, Z. 2013; 102 (20)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.4807395

    View details for Web of Science ID 000320619300004

  • Generation of High-Flux Attosecond XUV Continuum with a 10 TW Driving Laser Wu, Y., Cunningham, E., Li, J., Zang, H., Chini, M., Wang, X., Wang, Y., Zhao, K., Chang, Z., IEEE IEEE. 2013
  • Probing attosecond electron dynamics in atoms Chini, M., Wang, X., Cheng, Y., Wu, Y., Zhao, K., Zhang, Q., Cunningham, E., Wang, Y., Zang, H., Chang, Z., IEEE IEEE. 2012: 622-+