Optical breakdown has been generated by focusing YAG laser radiation in the air. The laser radiation itself was scattered due to laser-induced air optical breakdown. Angular distributions of scattered radiation at 1064, 532, and 355 nm were measured. Analysis of the distributions has been performed in terms of Mie scattering. It has been assumed that scattering of laser radiation is due mainly to highly ionized plasma balls in the initial phase of air optical breakdown. The wavelength-dependent angular distribution has been analyzed with two parameters. The mean radius and the plasma frequency of the plasma balls have been determined by a least-squares fit procedure. Observed wavelength-dependent angular distributions are in good agreement with ones calculated by Mie theory.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 13, 1996
Revised Manuscript: July 8, 1997
Published: February 20, 1998
Tatsuya Minowa, Tadashi Kawata, Hidetsugu Katsuragawa, and Haruko K. Uematsu, "Initial phase of laser-induced air optical breakdown: a new picture," Appl. Opt. 37, 1099-1103 (1998)