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Univ. Paris-Saclay

Willem BOUTU

Laboratoire Interactions, Dynamiques et Lasers

Dynamique et Interactions en phase COndensée

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Director of a joint laboratory between LIDYL and Imagine Optic.

CEA Researcher director.

Research interests

High order harmonic generation in gases and crystals, strong field plasmonics

Coherent Diffractive Imaging

Attosecond physics


Project leader of the ANR PRC ATTOCOM (01/11/2021 - 30/04/2025).

Project coordinator of the H2020 FETOPEN PETACOM (01/03/2019 - 28/02/2023).

Project leader of the ANR LabCom NanoLite (01/01/2020 - 30/06/2024).

Project leader of the ANR JCJC grant '"PACHA" (01/10/2017-30/09/2021).

Project leader of the ANR grant “Retour de Postdoctorant” I-NanoX (01/10/2009-31/07/2013).


2009-2012: senior postdoctoral position in Coherent Diffractive Imaging

                CEA/SPAM, Attophysics group (B. Carré)

2007-2009: postdoctoral position in Attophysics

                University of California, Berkeley and Chemical Science Division at the Berkeley Lawrence National Laboratory, groups of S.R. Leone and D.M. Neumark

2004-2007: PhD study in Physics, “Generation and Characterization of attosecond pulses”

                CEA/SPAM, Attophysics group (B. Carré). PhD director: Prof. Alfred Maquet (LCPMR, Paris)

2003-2004: M. Sc from Ecole Polytechnique (DEA “Lasers et Matière”).

2000-2003: Engineer from Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau.

Scientific publications

  1. Self-probed ptychography from semiconductor high-harmonic generation, Fröhlich, Sven, Liu, Xu, Hamdou, Aimrane, Meunier, Alric, Hussain, Mulhtar, Carole, Mathieu, Kaassamani, Shatha, Froidevaux, Marie, Lavoute, Laure, Gaponov, Dmitry, Ducros, Nicolas, Février, Sébastien, Zeitoun, Philippe, Kovacev, Milutin, Fajardo, Marta, Boutu, Willem, Gauthier, David, Merdji, Hamed, Optics letters 47, 4865 (2022).
  2. Demonstration of nonperturbative and perturbative third-harmonic generation in MgO by altering the electronic structure, Hussain, Mukhtar, Lima, Fernando, Boutu, Willem, Merdji, Hamed, Fajardo, Marta, Williams, Gareth O., Physical Review A 105, 053103 (2022).
  3. Polarization spectroscopy of high-order harmonic generation in gallium arsenide, Kaassamani, Shatha, Auguste, Thierry, Tancogne-Dejean, Nicolas, Liu, Xu, Boutu, Willem, Merdji, Hamed, Gauthier, David, Optics Express 30, 40531 (2022).
  4. Plasmon-Amplified Third Harmonic Generation in Metal/Dielectric Resonators, Nicolas, Rana, Shi, Liping, Chanteau, Bruno, Franz, Dominik, Kholodstova, Maria, Ripault, Quentin, Andrade, José R. C., Iwan, Bianca, Boutu, Willem, Kovacev, Milutin, Merdji, Hamed, Plasmonics 16, 1883 (2021).
  5. Optique attoseconde et électronique pétahertz dans les semiconducteurs, Merdji, H. and Boutu, W., Photoniques 109, 52 (2021).
  6. Spectral control of high order harmonics through non-linear propagation effects, Hussain,M. and Kaassamani,S. and Auguste,T. and Boutu,W. and Gauthier,D. and Kholodtsova,M. and Gomes,J.-T. and Lavoute,L. and Gaponov,D. and Ducros,N. and Fevrier,S. and Nicolas,R. and Imran,T. and Zeitoun,P. and Williams,G. O. and Fajardo,M. and Merdji,H., Applied Physics Letters 119, 071101 (2021).
  7. Enhanced extreme ultraviolet highharmonic generation from chromium-doped magnesium oxide. Nefedova, V. E., Fröhlich, S., Navarrete, F., Tancogne-Dejean, N., Franz, D., Hamdou, A., Kaassamani, S., Gauthier, D., Nicolas, R., Jargot, G., Hanna, M. Georges, P., Ciappina, M.F.,  Thumm, U., Boutu, W., Merdji, H. Applied Physics Letters 118, 201103 (2021).
  8. Single-shot spatial coherence characterization of x-ray ultrafast sources. Duarte, J., Gonzalez, A.-I., Cassin, R., Nicolas, R., Kholodstova, M., Boutu, W., Fajardo, M., Merdji.H. Optics Letters 46, 1764 (2021).
  9. Controlling the non-linear optical properties of MgO by tailoring the electronic structure. Hussain, M., Pires, H., Boutu, W., Franz, D., Nicolas, R., Imran, T., Merdji, H., Fajardo, M., Williams, G. O. Applied Physics B: Lasers and Optics 126, 46 (2020).
  10. Lensless microscopy platform for single cell and tissue visualization. Corman, R., Boutu, W., Campalans, A., Radicella, P., Duarte, J., Kholodtsova, M., Bally-Cuif, L., Dray, N., Harms, F., Dovillaire, G., Bucourt, S., Merdji, H. Biomedical Optics Express 11, 2806 (2020).
  11. Broadband coherent diffractive imaging. Huijts, J., Fernandez, S., Gauthier, D., Kholodtsova, M., Maghraoui, A., Medjoubi, K., Somogyi, A., Boutu, W., Merdji, H. Nature Photonics 14, 618 (2020).
  12. Orbital angular momentum from semiconductor high-order harmonics. Gauthier, D., Kaassamani, S., Franz, D., Nicolas, R., Gomes, J.-T., Lavoute, L.,Gaponov, D., Février, S., Jargot, G., Hanna, M., Boutu, W., Merdji, H. Optics Letters 44, 546 (2019).
  13. All semiconductor enhanced high-harmonic generation from a single nanostructured cone. Franz; D., Kaassamani, D., Gauthier, D., Nicolas, R., Kholodtsova, M., Douillard, L., Gomes, J.-T., Lavoute, L., Gaponov, D., Ducros, N., Février, S., Biegert, J., Shi, L., Kovacev, M., Boutu, W., Merdji, H. Scientific Reports 9, 5663 (2019).
  14. Impact of free electron degeneracy on collisional rates in plasmas. Williams, G. O., Chung, H.-K., Kunzel, S., Hilbert, V., Zastrau, U., Scott, H., Daboussi, S., Iwan, B., Gonzalez, A. I., Boutu, W., Lee, H. J., Nagler, B., Granados, E., Galtier, E., Heimann, P., Barbrel, B., Lee, R. W., Cho, B. I., Renaudin, P., Merdji, H., Zeitoun, Ph., Fajardo, M. Physical Review Research 1, 033126 (2019).
  15. CEP-stable high-energy ytterbium-doped fiber amplifier. Natile, M., Golinelli, A., Lavenu, L., Guichard, F., Hanna, M., Zaouter, Y., Chiche, R., Chen, X., Hergott, J. F., Boutu, W., Merdji, H., Georges, P. Optics Letters 44, 3909 (2019).
  16. Computed stereo lensless X-ray imaging. Duarte, J., Cassin, R., Huijts, J., Iwan, B., Fortuna, F., Delbecq, L., Chapman, H., Fajardo, M., Kovacev, M., Boutu, W., Merdji, H., Nature Photonics 13, 449 (2019).
  17. Impact of Plasmon-Induced Atoms Migration in Harmonic Generation. Shi, L., Nicolas, R., Andrade, J. R. C., Boutu, W., Franz, D., Heidenblut, T., Reinhardt, C., Morgner, U., Merdji, H., Kovačev, M., ACS Photonics 5, 1208 (2018).
  18. Resonant-Plasmon-Assisted Subwavelength Ablation by a Femtosecond Oscillator. Shi, L., Iwan, B., Ripault, Q., Andrade, J. R. C., Han, S., Kim, H., Boutu, W., Franz, D., Nicolas, R., Heidenblut, T., Reinhardt, C., Bastiaens, B., Nagy, T., Babuskin, I., Morgner, U., Kim, S.-W., Steinmeyer, G., Merdji, H., Kovačev, M., Phys. Rev. Applied 9, 024001 (2018).
  19. Tracking the ultrafast XUV optical properties of x-ray free-electron-laser heated matter with high-order harmonics. Williams, G. O., Künzel, S., Daboussi, S., Iwan, B., Gonzalez, A. I., Boutu, W., Hilbert, V., Zastrau, U., Lee, H. J., Nagler, B., Granados, E., Galtier, E., Heimann, P., Barbrel, B., Dovillaire, G., Lee, R. W., Dunn, J., Recoules, V., Blancard, C., Renaudin, P., de la Varga, A. G., Velarde, P., Audebert, P., Merdji, H., Zeitoun, P., Fajardo, M., Phys. Rev. A 97, 023414 (2018).
  20. Investigating the origin of third harmonic generation from diabolo optical antennas. Shi, L., Andrade, J. R. C., Kim, H., Han, S., Nicolas, R., Franz, D., Boutu, W., Heidenblut, T., Segerink, F. B., Bastiaens, B., Merdji, H., Kim, S.-W., Morgner, U., Kovačev, M., Applied Physics Letters 111, 173102 (2017).
  21. Self-optimization of plasmonic nanoantennas in strong femtosecond fields. Shi, L., Iwan, B., Nicolas, R., Ripault, Q., Andrade, J. R. C., Han, S., Kim, H., Boutu, W., Franz, D., Heidenblut, T., Reinhardt, C., Bastiaens, B., Nagy, T., Babushkin, I., Morgner, U., Kim, S.-W., Steinmeyer, G., Merdji, H., Kovačev, M., Optica 4, 1038 (2017).
  22. Impact of noise in holography with extended references in the low signal regime. Boutu, W., Gauthier, D., Ge, X., Cassin, R., Ducousso, M., Gonzalez, A., Iwan, B., Samaan, J., Wang, F., Kovačev, M. and Merdji, H., Optics Express 24, 6318 (2016).
  23. Fourier Transform holography with high harmonic spectra for attosecond imaging applications.  Williams, G.O., Gonzalez, A.I., Künzel, S., Li, L., Lozano, M., Oliva, E., Iwan, B., Daboussi, S., Boutu, W., Merdji, H., Fajardo, M. and Zeitoun, P. , Optics Lett. 40, 3205 (2015).
  24. Shot to shot intensity and wavefront stability of high-harmonic generation. Künzel, S., Williams, G.O., Boutu, W., Galtier, E., Barbrel, B., Lee, H.J., Nagler, B., Zastrau, U., Dovillaire, G., Lee, R.W., Merdji, H., Zeitoun, P. andFajardo, M. , Applied Optics 54, 4745 (2015).
  25. Spatial quality improvement of Ti:Sapphire laser beam by modal filtering. Mahieu, B., Gauthier, D., Perdrix, M., Ge, X., Boutu, W., Lepetit, F., Wang, F., Carré, B., Auguste, T., Merdji, H., Garzella, D. and Gobert, O., Applied Physics B 118, 47 (2015).
  26. Single-shot studies of a Co/Pd thin film’s magnetic nano-domain structure using ultrafast x-ray scattering. M. Ducousso, X. Ge, W. Boutu, D. Gauthier, B. Barbrel, F. Wang, A. Borta, A.-I. Gonzalez, M. Billon, B. Vodungbo, J. Gautier, R. Hawaldar, B. Tudu, R. Delaunay, M. Tortarolo, P. Zeitoun, J. Lüning and H. Merdji. Laser Physics 24, 025301 (2014).
  27. Microfocusing of the FERMI@Elettra FEL beam with a K–B active optics system: Spot size predictions by application of the WISE code. Raimondi, L. et al. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A 710, 131 (2013).
  28. Impact of wave front and coherence optimization in coherent diffractive imaging. Ge, X., Boutu, W., Gauthier, D., Wang, F.,  Borta, A., Barbrel, B., Ducousso, M., Gonzalez, A.I., Carré, B., Guillaumet, D., Perdrix, M., Gobert, O., Gautier, J., Lambert, G., Maia, F.R.N.C.,  Hajdu, J., Zeitoun, P. and Merdji, H. Optics Express 21, 11441 (2013).
  29. Sub-100 nanometer lensless probing of Co/Pd magnetic nanodomains using a table-top femtosecond soft X-ray harmonic source. X. Ge, M. Ducousso, W. Boutu, B. Tudu, B. Barbrel, D. Gauthier, A. Borta, A.-I. Gonzalez, F. Wang, B. Iwan, M. Billon, M. Perdrix, D. Guillaumet, F. Lepetit, B. Vodungbo, J. Gautier, R. Hawaldar, M. Tortarolo, R. Delaunay, P. Zeitoun, J. Lüning and H. Merdji. Journal of Modern Optics 60, 1475 (2013).
  30. Laser-induced ultrafast demagnetization in the presence of a nanoscale magnetic domain network. Vodungbo, B., Gautier, J., Lambert, G., Barszczak Sardinha, A., Lozano, M., Sebban, S., Ducousso, M., Boutu, W., Li, K., Tudu, B., Tortarolo, M., Hawaldar, R., Delaunay, R., Merdji, H., Zeitoun, P. and Lüning, J., Nature Communications 3, 999 (2012).
  31. High-order-harmonic generation in gas with a flat-top laser beam. Boutu, W., Auguste, T., Boyko, O., Sola, I., Balcou, P., Binazon, L., Gobert, O., Merdji, H., Valentin, C., Constant, E., Mével, E. and Carré, B.; Phys. Rev. A  84, 063406 (2011).
  32. Scaling of the generation of high-order harmonics in large gas media with focal length. Boutu, W., Auguste, T., Caumes, J. P., Merdji, H. and Carré, B.; Phys. Rev. A 84, 053819 (2011).
  33. Single-shot Femtosecond X-Ray Holography Using Extended References. Gauthier, D., Guizar-Sicairos, M., Ge, X., Boutu, W., Carré, B., Fienup, J. R. and Merdji, H.; Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 093901 (2010).
  34. Attosecond imaging of molecular electronic wavepackets. Haessler, S., Caillat, J., Boutu, W., Giovanetti-Teixeira, C., Ruchon, T., Auguste, T., Diveki, Z., Breger, P., Maquet, A., Carré, B., Taieb, R. and Salières, P.; Nature Physics 6, 200 (2010).
  35. Isolated attosecond pulses from ionization gating of high-harmonic emission. Abel, M.J., Pfeifer, T., Nagel, P.M., Boutu, W., Bell, M.J., Steiner, C.P., Neumark, D.M. and Leone, S.R.; Chemical Physics 366, 9 (2009).
  36. Attosecond chirp-encoded dynamics of light nuclei. Haessler, S., Boutu, W., Stankiewicz, M., Frasinski, L.J., Weber, S., Caillat, J., Taieb, R., Maquet, A., Breger, P., Monchicourt, P., Carré, B., and Salières, P.; Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 42, 134002 (2009).
  37. Measurement and optimization of isolated attosecond pulse contrast. Pfeifer, T., Abel, M.J., Nagel, P.M., Boutu, W., Bell, M.J., Liu, Y., Neumark, D.M., and Leone, S.R.; Opt. Lett. 34, 1819 (2009).
  38. Coherent control of attosecond emission from aligned molecules. Boutu, W., Haessler, S., Merdji, H., Breger, P., Waters, G., Stankiewicz, M., Frasinski, L.J., Taieb, R., Caillat, J., Maquet, A., Monchicourt, P., Carré, B., and Salières, P.; Nature Physics 4, 545 (2008). Selected for cover illustration.
  39. Polarization-resolved pump-probe spectroscopy with high harmonics. Mairesse, Y., Haessler, S., Fabre, B., Higuet, J., Boutu, W., Breger, P., Constant, E., Descamps, D., Mével, E., Petit, S., and Salières, P.; New Journal of Physics 10, 025028 (2008).
  40. Measuring th ecomplex recombination dipole of aligned CO2 molecules in high-order harmonic generation. Haessler, S., Boutu, W., Merdji, H., Breger, P., Taïeb, R., Caillat, J., Maquet, A., Monchicourt, P., Carré, B. and Salières, P., UVX2008, 65, EDP Sciences.
  41. High-contrast pump-probe spectroscopy with high-order harmonics. Mairesse, Y., Boutu, W., Breger, P., Constant, E., Descamp, D., Dudovich, N., Fabre, B., Haessler, S., Higuet, J., Mével, E., Petit, S., Salières, P., Villeneuve, D. and Corkum, P. , UVX2008, 107, EDP Sciences.
  42. Isolated attosecond pulses using a detuned second-harmonic field. Merdji, H., Auguste, T., Boutu, W., Caumes, J.P., Carré, B., Pfeifer, T., Jullien, A., Neumark, D.M., and Leone, S.R.; Opt. Lett. 32, 3134 (2007).
  43. Subcycle dynamics in the laser ionization of molecules. Xie, X., Wickenhauser, M., Boutu, W., Merdji, H., Salières, P., and Scrinzi, A.; Phys. Rev. A 76, 023426 (2007).
  44. Macroscopic control of high order harmonics quantum paths components for the generation of attosecond pulses. Merdji, H., Kovacev, M., Boutu, W., Salières, P., Vernay, F., and Carré, B.; Phys. Rev. A 74, 043804 (2006).
  45. Generation of attosecond pulses in molecular nitrogen. Wabnitz, H., Mairesse, Y., Frasinski, L., Stankiewicz, M., Boutu, W., Breger, P., Johnsson, P., Merdji, H., Monchicourt, P., Salières, P., Varju, K., Vitteau, M., and Carré, B.; Eur. Phys. J.D 40, 305 (2006).
  46. Frequency conversion of subnanojoule femtosecond pulses in microstructure fibers. Konorov, S., Fedotov, A., Boutu, W., Serebryannikov, E., Sidorov-Biryukov, D., Kondrat'ev, Y., Shevandin, V., Dukel'skii, K., Khokhlov, A. and Zheltikov, A.; Optics and Spectroscopy 96, 575 (2004).
  47. Multiplex frequency conversion of subnanojoule femtosecond pulses in microstructure fibers. Konorov, S., Fedotov, A., Boutu, W., Serebryannikov, E., Sidorov-Biryukov, D., Kondrat'ev, Y., Shevandin, V., Dukel'skii, K., Khokhlov, A., and Zheltikov, A.; Laser Physics 13, 1 (2003).


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