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Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B


  • Vol. 16, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 1999
  • pp: 637–650

Ultrafast white-light continuum generation and self-focusing in transparent condensed media

A. Brodeur and S. L. Chin  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 16, Issue 4, pp. 637-650 (1999)

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We report an investigation of white-light continuum generation and self-focusing by 140-fs Ti:sapphire laser pulses in extended transparent media. It is found that continuum generation is triggered by self-focusing and that both phenomena depend on the medium’s bandgap. There is a bandgap threshold for continuum generation. Above that threshold the continuum’s width increases with increasing bandgap. Furthermore, the beam’s self-focal diameter is discontinuous across the threshold. To explain the observations a mechanism is proposed that involves multiphoton excitation of electrons into the conduction band at the self-focus; the generated free electrons cause spectral superbroadening and limit the self-focal diameter. The continuum beam’s surprisingly low divergence is then investigated and explained in terms of a Kerr lensing effect.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(190.2620) Nonlinear optics : Harmonic generation and mixing
(190.4180) Nonlinear optics : Multiphoton processes
(190.5940) Nonlinear optics : Self-action effects
(320.2250) Ultrafast optics : Femtosecond phenomena
(320.7110) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast nonlinear optics
(320.7120) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast phenomena

A. Brodeur and S. L. Chin, "Ultrafast white-light continuum generation and self-focusing in transparent condensed media," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 16, 637-650 (1999)

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