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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 16, Iss. 10 — May. 12, 2008
  • pp: 7564–7570

Ultrafast gaseous “half-wave plate”

P. Béjot, Y. Petit, L. Bonacina, J. Kasparian, M. Moret, and J.-P. Wolf  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 10, pp. 7564-7570 (2008)

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We demonstrate that filaments generated by ultrashort laser pulses can induce a remarkably large birefringence in Argon over its whole length, resulting in an ultrafast “half-wave plate” for a copropagating probe beam. This birefringence originates from the difference between the nonlinear refractive indices induced by the filament on the axes parallel and orthogonal to its polarization. An angle of 45° between the filament and the probe polarizations allows the realization of ultrafast Kerr-gates, with a switching time ultimately limited by the duration of the filamenting pulse.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.7090) Lasers and laser optics : Ultrafast lasers
(190.3270) Nonlinear optics : Kerr effect
(190.5940) Nonlinear optics : Self-action effects
(190.7110) Nonlinear optics : Ultrafast nonlinear optics
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence

ToC Category:
Nonlinear Optics

Original Manuscript: March 17, 2008
Revised Manuscript: April 18, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: April 20, 2008
Published: May 9, 2008

P. Béjot, Y. Petit, L. Bonacina, J. Kasparian, M. Moret, and J.-P. Wolf, "Ultrafast gaseous "half-wave plate"," Opt. Express 16, 7564-7570 (2008)

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