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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 8 — Apr. 9, 2012
  • pp: 8791–8803

Measurement of nonlinear refractive index and ionization rates in air using a wavefront sensor

Jens Schwarz, Patrick Rambo, Mark Kimmel, and Briggs Atherton  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 8, pp. 8791-8803 (2012)

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A wavefront sensor has been used to measure the Kerr nonlinear focal shift of a high intensity ultrashort pulse beam in a focusing beam geometry while accounting for the effects of plasma-defocusing. It is shown that plasma-defocusing plays a major role in the nonlinear focusing dynamics and that measurements of Kerr nonlinearity and ionization are coupled. Furthermore, this coupled effect leads to a novel way that measures the laser ionization rates in air under atmospheric conditions as well as Kerr nonlinearity. The measured nonlinear index n2 compares well with values found in the literature and the measured ionization rates could be successfully benchmarked to the model developed by Perelomov, Popov, and Terentev (PPT model) [Sov. Phys. JETP 50, 1393 (1966)].

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(020.4180) Atomic and molecular physics : Multiphoton processes
(190.3270) Nonlinear optics : Kerr effect

ToC Category:
Nonlinear Optics

Original Manuscript: November 14, 2011
Revised Manuscript: January 31, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: March 23, 2012
Published: April 2, 2012

Jens Schwarz, Patrick Rambo, Mark Kimmel, and Briggs Atherton, "Measurement of nonlinear refractive index and ionization rates in air using a wavefront sensor," Opt. Express 20, 8791-8803 (2012)

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