OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 18, Iss. 7 — Jul. 1, 2001
  • pp: 1714–1718

Self-focusing and frequency broadening of an intense short-pulse laser in plasmas

Chuan Sheng Liu and Vipin K. Tripathi  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 18, Issue 7, pp. 1714-1718 (2001)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (136 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



An intense ultrafast laser pulse propagating through a plasma undergoes self-focusing and self-phase-modulation as a result of relativistic mass nonlinearity. The inclusion of a quartic (r4) term in the expansion of the eikonal in the radial coordinate r allows the modification of the shape of the radial intensity profile. The front of the pulse, under the combined effects of time-dependent self-focusing and frequency downshifting, acquires a severely distorted temporal shape. The radial profile for Iλμ2<2.8×1018W/cm2, where I is the axial laser intensity and λμ is the laser wavelength in micrometers, is transformed from a Gaussian to a super-Gaussian because of the faster convergence of the marginal rays than the paraxial rays. In the opposite case of Iλμ2>2.8×1018W/cm2 when nonlinear plasma permittivity approaches saturation, the radial profile in the axial region becomes broader than the Gaussian.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.5060) Fiber optics and optical communications : Phase modulation
(140.7090) Lasers and laser optics : Ultrafast lasers
(190.7110) Nonlinear optics : Ultrafast nonlinear optics
(260.5950) Physical optics : Self-focusing

Original Manuscript: October 3, 2000
Revised Manuscript: January 2, 2001
Manuscript Accepted: January 2, 2001
Published: July 1, 2001

Chuan Sheng Liu and Vipin K. Tripathi, "Self-focusing and frequency broadening of an intense short-pulse laser in plasmas," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 1714-1718 (2001)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. M. Honda, J. Meyer-ter-Vehn, A. Pukhov, “Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation for magnetized transport of ultra-high relativistic current in plasma,” Phys. Plasmas 7, 1302–1308 (2000). [CrossRef]
  2. G. S. Serkisov, V. Yu, V. Yu Bychenkov, V. N. Novikov, V. T. Tikhonchuk, A. Maksimchuk, S. Y. Chen, R. Wagner, G. Mourou, D. Umstadter, “Self-focusing, channel formation, and high energy ion generation in interaction of an intense short laser pulse with He jet,” Phys. Rev. E 59, 7042–7054 (1999). [CrossRef]
  3. S. C. Wilks, J. M. Dawson, W. B. Mori, T. Katsouleas, M. E. Jones, “Photon accelerator,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 62, 2600–2603 (1089). [CrossRef]
  4. G. D. Tsakiris, C. Gahn, V. K. Tripathi, “Laser induced electron acceleration in the presence of static electric and magnetic fields in a plasma,” Phys. Plasmas 7, 3017–3030 (2000). [CrossRef]
  5. C. S. Liu, V. K. Tripathi, Interaction of Electromagnetic Waves with Electron Beams and Plasmas (World Scientific, Singapore, 1994), Chap. 4.
  6. P. Sprangle, E. Esarey, J. Krall, “Self-guiding and stability of intense optical beams in gases undergoing ionization,” Phys. Rev. E 54, 4211–4232 (1996). [CrossRef]
  7. A. Couairon, L. Berge, “Modeling the filamentation of ultra-short pulses in ionizing media,” Phys. Plasmas 7, 193–209 (2000). [CrossRef]
  8. J. Parashar, H. D. Pandey, V. K. Tripathi, “Two-dimensional effects in a tunnel ionized plasma,” Phys. Plasmas 4, 3040–3043 (1997). [CrossRef]
  9. P. B. Corkum, C. Rolland, T. Rao, “Supercontinuum generation in gases,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 2268–2271 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. A. Ting, K. Krushelnick, H. R. Burris, A. Fisher, C. Manka, C. J. Moore, “Backscattered supercontinuum emission from high-intensity laser–plasma interactions,” Opt. Lett. 21, 1096–1098 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. L. V. Keldysh, “Ionization in the field of a strong electromagnetic waves,” JETP 20, 1307–1314 (1965).
  12. See E. Esarey, P. Sprangle, J. Krall, A. Ting, “Self-focusing and guiding of short laser pulses in ionizing gases and plasmas,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 33, 1879–1914 (1997) and references therein. [CrossRef]
  13. V. B. Gildenburg, A. V. Kim, V. A. Krupnov, V. E. Semenov, A. M. Sergeev, N. A. Zharova, “Adiabatic frequency up-conversion of a powerful electromagnetic pulse producing gas ionization,” IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci. 21, 34–44 (1993). [CrossRef]
  14. S. A. Akhmanov, A. P. Sukhorukov, R. V. Khokhlov, “Self-focusing and diffraction of light in a nonlinear medium,” Sov. Phys. Usp. 93, 609–636 (1968). [CrossRef]
  15. R. Fedosejevs, X. F. Wang, G. D. Tsakiris, “Onset of relativistic self-focusing in high density gas jet targets,” Phys. Rev. E 56, 4615–4639 (1997). [CrossRef]
  16. P. Chessa, E. De Wispelaere, F. Dorchies, V. Malka, J. R. Marquès, G. Hamoniaux, P. Mora, F. Amiranoff, “Temporal and angular resolution of the ionization-induced refraction of a short laser pulse in helium gas,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 552–555 (1999). [CrossRef]
  17. C. S. Liu, V. K. Tripathi, “Laser frequency upshift, self-defocusing, and ring formation in tunnel ionizing gases and plasmas,” Phys. Plasmas 7, 4360–4363 (2000). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited