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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 3 — Jan. 30, 2012
  • pp: 2528–2538

Characteristics of micro air plasma produced by double femtosecond laser pulses

Nan Zhang, Zehua Wu, Kuanhong Xu, and Xiaonong Zhu  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 3, pp. 2528-2538 (2012)

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Dynamic characteristics of air plasma generated by focused double collinear femtosecond laser pulses with a time interval of 10 ns are experimentally investigated. The air plasma emission changes significantly when altering the energy ratio between the two laser pulses. Time-resolved shadowgraphic measurements reveal that a small volume of transient vacuum is formed inside the air shock wave produced by the first laser pulse, which causes the second laser pulse induced ionization zone to present as two separate sections in space. Also recorded is strong scattering of the second laser pulse by the ionized air just behind the ionization front of the first laser pulse produced shock wave. Due to the high intensity of the scattered light, coherent Thomson scattering enhanced by plasma instabilities is believed to be the main scattering mechanism in this case.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(260.5210) Physical optics : Photoionization
(290.0290) Scattering : Scattering
(320.7120) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast phenomena

ToC Category:
Ultrafast Optics

Original Manuscript: December 1, 2011
Revised Manuscript: January 3, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: January 13, 2012
Published: January 19, 2012

Nan Zhang, Zehua Wu, Kuanhong Xu, and Xiaonong Zhu, "Characteristics of micro air plasma produced by double femtosecond laser pulses," Opt. Express 20, 2528-2538 (2012)

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