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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 8 — Apr. 9, 2012
  • pp: 8837–8847
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Control of third harmonic generation by plasma grating generated by two noncollinear IR femtosecond filaments

Zuoye Liu, Pengji Ding, Yanchao Shi, Xing Lu, Shaohua Sun, Xiaoliang Liu, Qingchao Liu, Baowei Ding, and Bitao Hu  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 8, pp. 8837-8847 (2012)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.20.008837


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Abstract

A plasma grating is formed by two femtosecond filaments, and the influence of probe filament on the plasma grating is shown. By using the plasma grating, the enhancement of the third harmonic (TH) generated from the probe filament is studied, and more than three orders of magnitude enhancement of TH generation is demonstrated as compared with that obtained from a single filament. The dependences of TH generation on the time delay, the spatial period of plasma grating, the relative polarization and the crossing position between the probe beam and the two pump beams are investigated. The spectral broadening of TH generated from the probe filament induced by the interaction between the probe filament and the plasma grating is also studied.

© 2012 OSA

1. Introduction

Filamentation of femtosecond laser pulse [1

1. J. Kasparian, M. Rodriguez, G. Mejean, J. Yu, E. Salmon, H. Wille, R. Bourayou, S. Frey, Y. B. Andre, A. Mysyrowicz, R. Sauerbrey, J. P. Wolf, and L. Woste, “White-light filaments for atmospheric analysis,” Science 301(5629), 61–64 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

42

42. O. G. Kosareva, W. Liu, N. A. Panov, J. Bernhardt, Z. Ji, M. Sharifi, R. Li, Z. Xu, J. Liu, Z. Wang, J. Ju, X. Lu, Y. Jiang, Y. Leng, X. Liang, V. P. Kandidov, and S. L. Chin, “Can we reach very high intensity in air with femtosecond PW laser pulses?” Laser Phys. 19(8), 1776–1792 (2009). [CrossRef]

] has been intensively investigated after the invention of chirped pulse amplification, and the filament dynamics were well controlled by the alignment and the rotational states of molecules [5

5. J. Wu, H. Cai, H. P. Zeng, and A. Couairon, “Femtosecond filamentation and pulse compression in the wake of molecular alignment,” Opt. Lett. 33(22), 2593–2595 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

9

9. Y. D. Wang, Y. S. Zhang, P. Chen, L. P. Shi, X. Lu, J. Wu, L. E. Ding, and H. P. Zeng, “The formation of an intense filament controlled by interference of ultraviolet femtosecond pulses,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 98(11), 111103 (2011). [CrossRef]

]. Filamentation with self-stabilized intensity clamping in self-guided channels owing to the dynamic balance between Kerr self-focusing and plasma defocusing, induces plenty of nonlinear optical phenomena, such as self-compression [10

10. S. Witte, R. T. Zinkstok, A. L. Wolf, W. Hogervorst, W. Ubachs, and K. S. E. Eikema, “A source of 2 terawatt, 2.7 cycle laser pulses based on noncollinear optical parametric chirped pulse amplification,” Opt. Express 14(18), 8168–8177 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15

15. A. Mysyrowicz, A. Couairon, and U. Keller, “Self-compression of optical laser pulses by filamentation,” New J. Phys. 10(2), 025023 (2008). [CrossRef]

], supercontinuum generation [16

16. J. S. Liu, H. Schroeder, S. L. Chin, R. X. Li, and Z. Z. Xu, “Nonlinear propagation of fs laser pulses in liquids and evolution of supercontinuum generation,” Opt. Express 13(25), 10248–10259 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 17

17. G. Genty, M. Lehtonen, and H. Ludvigsen, “Effect of cross-phase modulation on supercontinuum generated in microstructured fibers with sub-30 fs pulses,” Opt. Express 12(19), 4614–4624 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], third harmonic (TH) generation [18

18. N. Akozbek, A. Iwasaki, A. Becker, M. Scalora, S. L. Chin, and C. M. Bowden, “Third-harmonic generation and self-channeling in air using high-power femtosecond laser pulses,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 89(14), 143901 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

23

23. H. Yang, J. Zhang, J. Zhang, L. Z. Zhao, Y. J. Li, H. Teng, Y. T. Li, Z. H. Wang, Z. L. Chen, Z. Y. Wei, J. X. Ma, W. Yu, and Z. M. Sheng, “Third-order harmonic generation by self-guided femtosecond pulses in air,” Phys. Rev. E Stat. Nonlin. Soft Matter Phys. 67(1), 015401–015404 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], and so on. In particular, it was reported that an efficient conversion about 0.2% from a femtosecond laser pulse to its TH generation could be achieved in air [18

18. N. Akozbek, A. Iwasaki, A. Becker, M. Scalora, S. L. Chin, and C. M. Bowden, “Third-harmonic generation and self-channeling in air using high-power femtosecond laser pulses,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 89(14), 143901 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Recently, the interactions between two femtosecond filaments have attracted more and more attentions since it shows distinctive features, such as attraction, fusion, repulsion, and spiral propagation, depending on the relative phase shift and the crossing angle between them [24

24. T. T. Xi, X. Lu, and J. Zhang, “Interaction of light filaments generated by femtosecond laser pulses in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 96(2), 025003 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 25

25. B. Shim, S. E. Schrauth, C. J. Hensley, L. T. Vuong, P. Hui, A. A. Ishaaya, and A. L. Gaeta, “Controlled interactions of femtosecond light filaments in air,” Phys. Rev. A 81(6), 061803 (2010). [CrossRef]

]. The TH generation in air by interaction of two noncollinear filaments could be increased by two orders of magnitude with quasi-vertical crossing angle [26

26. K. Hartinger and R. A. Bartels, “Enhancement of third harmonic generation by a laser-induced plasma,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(15), 151102 (2008). [CrossRef]

28

28. S. Suntsov, D. Abdollahpour, D. G. Papazoglou, and S. Tzortzakis, “Filamentation-induced third-harmonic generation in air via plasma-enhanced third-order susceptibility,” Phys. Rev. A 81(3), 033817 (2010). [CrossRef]

] and more than two orders of magnitude with small crossing angle [29

29. X. Yang, J. Wu, Y. Peng, Y. Q. Tong, S. Yuan, L. E. Ding, Z. Z. Xu, and H. P. Zeng, “Noncollinear interaction of femtosecond filaments with enhanced third harmonic generation in air,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 95(11), 111103 (2009). [CrossRef]

]. The enhancement of TH generation may also be induced by an increase of the nonlinear optical susceptibility of the medium correlated with the presence of the plasma or a neutral air-plasma interface effect, which were named as bulk effect and neutral air-plasma interface [28

28. S. Suntsov, D. Abdollahpour, D. G. Papazoglou, and S. Tzortzakis, “Filamentation-induced third-harmonic generation in air via plasma-enhanced third-order susceptibility,” Phys. Rev. A 81(3), 033817 (2010). [CrossRef]

]. Very recently, it was reported that the enhancement of TH generation originates from the breaking of the large cancellation of TH in a filament perturbed by a pump pulse [30

30. Y. Liu, M. Durand, A. Houard, B. Forestier, A. Couairon, and A. Mysyrowicz, “Efficient generation of third harmonic radiation in air filaments: A revisit,” Opt. Commun. 284(19), 4706–4713 (2011). [CrossRef]

, 31

31. J. P. Yao, B. Zeng, W. Chu, J. L. Ni, and Y. Cheng, “Enhancement of third harmonic generation in femtosecond laser induced filamentation-comparison of results obtained with plasma and a pair of glass plates,” J. Mod. Opt. 59(3), 245–249 (2012). [CrossRef]

].

The plasma grating [32

32. X. Yang, J. Wu, Y. Peng, Y. Q. Tong, P. F. Lu, L. E. Ding, Z. Z. Xu, and H. P. Zeng, “Plasma waveguide array induced by filament interaction,” Opt. Lett. 34(24), 3806–3808 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

35

35. J. K. Wahlstrand and H. M. Milchberg, “Effect of a plasma grating on pump-probe experiments near the ionization threshold in gases,” Opt. Lett. 36(19), 3822–3824 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] formed by noncollinear interaction of two femtosecond filaments may tolerate ultra-high-intensity laser fields beyond the clamping intensity limit [36

36. P. Panagiotopoulos, N. K. Efremidis, D. G. Papazoglou, A. Couairon, and S. Tzortzakis, “Tailoring the filamentation of intense femtosecond laser pulses with periodic lattices,” Phys. Rev. A 82(6), 061803 (2010). [CrossRef]

, 37

37. P. P. Kiran, S. Bagchi, C. L. Arnold, S. R. Krishnan, G. R. Kumar, and A. Couairon, “Filamentation without intensity clamping,” Opt. Express 18(20), 21504–21510 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] for the free electron generation and acceleration, and the peak electron density inside plasma grating was demonstrated to be two orders of magnitude higher than that inside a single femtosecond filament [38

38. L. P. Shi, W. X. Li, Y. D. Wang, X. Lu, L. E. Ding, and H. P. Zeng, “Generation of high-density electrons based on plasma grating induced Bragg diffraction in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 107(9), 095004 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. By using UV plasma grating, efficient nonlinear Bragg diffraction was observed, and free electron density was estimated by Bragg diffraction efficiency. Plasma grating was applied to study laser energy exchange between two femtosecond filaments used to form the plasma grating [39

39. X. Yang, J. Wu, Y. Q. Tong, L. E. Ding, Z. Z. Xu, and H. P. Zeng, “Femtosecond laser pulse energy transfer induced by plasma grating due to filament interaction in air,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 97(7), 071108 (2010). [CrossRef]

41

41. A. C. Bernstein, M. McCormick, G. M. Dyer, J. C. Sanders, and T. Ditmire, “Two-beam coupling between filament-forming beams in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 102(12), 123902 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. The magnitude and direction of energy flow from one beam to the other could be controlled by detuning the frequency of two pulses.

In this paper, a probe femtosecond beam is focused on a plasma grating formed by two noncollinear filaments with 3.8° crossing angle, and the influences of the probe filament on the plasma grating are revealed by the fluorescence distributions of plasma grating. By using plasma grating, the TH generation enhancement from the probe filament is investigated. The crossing angles between the probe filament and the plasma grating is set to be 3.5° or quasi-vertical. With this two crossing angles, the dependences of TH generation on the time delay τd, the relative polarization between the probe beam and the two pump beams, and the spatial period of plasma grating are investigated. Meanwhile, the spectral broadening of TH induced by the interaction between the probe filament and the plasma grating is also studied.

2. Experimental setup

The experiments are conducted using a Ti:Sapphire chirped-pulse amplification laser system operating at 1 kHz repetition rate (Quantronix, Odin-II). The entire laser system is able to provide 3.0 mJ pulse centered around 810 nm with laser pulse width about 33 fs. Schematic of the experimental setup is shown in Fig. 1
Fig. 1 Schematic of the experimental setup for detecting TH spectra generated from probe filament, and the plasma fluorescence distributions. Here: BS1, BS2, beamsplitters; L1, L2, L3, L4, focused lenses; M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M6, M7, M8, M9, M10, M11, 800 nm high reflective mirrors; M12, M13, 266 nm high reflective mirrors; C1, Al coated curve mirror.
. The fundamental laser beam is split into three arms, Pump1, Pump2 and Probe by using two beamsplitters, BS1 and BS2. Pump1 beam with pulse energy up to 0.7 mJ and Pump2 beam up to 0.9 mJ are focused to form two filaments with length about 1.5 cm by using two 60 cm-focal-length lens, L1 and L2. Probe beam with pulse energy up to 0.6 mJ is focused to form a longer filament with length about 3 cm by using a 117 cm-focal-length lens L3. The time delay Δt between the two pump beams can be adjusted with a delay line, Delay1, and a plasma grating can be formed when the time delay Δt is set to 0 fs. And the time delay τd between the probe beam and the two pump beams can be adjusted with the second delay line, Delay2. The crossing angle between the filaments formed by the two pump beams is ø, and the crossing angle between the two filaments formed by Probe beam and Pump2 beam is θ. The angle θ can be adjusted to be 3.5° or quasi-vertical as shown in Fig. 1. M4 and L1 mounted together on a stage are movable to change the value of crossing angle θ, and M10 is adjusted to let the probe filament cross the center of plasma grating.

The fluorescence of plasma grating is collected and projected onto a sensitive charge-coupled device (CCD) camera by C1, so the fluorescence distributions of plasma grating is recorded. For the measurements of TH spectra generated from the probe filament, two 266nm high reflective mirrors are used as dispersive elements to separate the TH from the fundamental and reflect the TH to a fused silica lens L4 to gather into a spectrometer (Ocean Optics, USB4000). The TH intensity could change with the propagation distance as investigated in Ref 24

24. T. T. Xi, X. Lu, and J. Zhang, “Interaction of light filaments generated by femtosecond laser pulses in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 96(2), 025003 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, and the spectrometer is placed at a position with the distance about 70cm away from the center of interaction area as shown in Fig. 1. The TH spectra are recorded by the spectrometer, and the relative TH intensity is calculated by the peak frequency component of TH spectra.

3. Experimental results and discussion

3.1 Plasma fluorescence distributions

Firstly, a plasma grating is formed by two pump filaments with ϕ set to 3.8° and the time delay Δt = 0 fs, and a probe beam is focused to form a filament crossing the center of plasma grating. The fluorescence distribution of plasma grating formed by the two pump filaments is shown in Fig. 2(a)
Fig. 2 The fluorescence distributions with different conditions. (a), (b), and (c) are the results measured without the probe filament, with the probe filament with θ set to be 3.5° and quasi-vertical, respectively.
. The plasma grating is formed with a length more than 700 μm, and its spatial periodΛcan be determined by the function Λ=λ/2sin(θ2). When the time delay τd is adjusted to zero and the crossing angles between the probe filament and the plasma grating is set to be 3.5° and quasi-vertical, the corresponding fluorescence distributions are shown in Fig. 2(b) and Fig. 2(c), respectively.

As is known, for the interactions between two femtosecond filaments [24

24. T. T. Xi, X. Lu, and J. Zhang, “Interaction of light filaments generated by femtosecond laser pulses in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 96(2), 025003 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 25

25. B. Shim, S. E. Schrauth, C. J. Hensley, L. T. Vuong, P. Hui, A. A. Ishaaya, and A. L. Gaeta, “Controlled interactions of femtosecond light filaments in air,” Phys. Rev. A 81(6), 061803 (2010). [CrossRef]

] with very small crossing angles, there are attraction, fusion, repulsion, and spiral propagation in their propagating process depending on the relative phase shift. In the present work, when the probe filament with time delay τd = 0 fs impacts on the plasma grating, the attraction and repulsion appear alternately along the propagating direction, which is different from the results of noncollinear interaction of two filaments. The intense interaction between the probe filament and the plasma grating may cause periodic change of the relative phase, which means phase matching and phase mismatching, to induce the attraction and repulsion between them. Due to the laser field interference effect, the interaction among multiple filaments can enhance the clamped fundamental laser intensity [42

42. O. G. Kosareva, W. Liu, N. A. Panov, J. Bernhardt, Z. Ji, M. Sharifi, R. Li, Z. Xu, J. Liu, Z. Wang, J. Ju, X. Lu, Y. Jiang, Y. Leng, X. Liang, V. P. Kandidov, and S. L. Chin, “Can we reach very high intensity in air with femtosecond PW laser pulses?” Laser Phys. 19(8), 1776–1792 (2009). [CrossRef]

], which may induce the increase of ionization rate in the interaction area. As shown in Fig. 2(b), the contrast ratio of plasma grating is improved a lot in the attraction areas and has no clear change in the repulsion areas. When θ is set to be quasi-vertical, the free electrons inside interaction area are bounded in a small range, and as a result their density is enhanced. As shown in Fig. 2(c), the enhancement of free electron density induces the contrast ratio in the interaction area to be improved up to ten times.

3.2 Enhancement of TH generation

Together with the interactions between the probe filament and the plasma grating, a significant enhancement of TH generation is observed along the probe beam propagating direction. As shown in Fig. 3
Fig. 3 The TH spectra generated from probe filament without pump beam, with a single pump beam, and with two pump beams (plasma grating). (a) and (b) are the experimental results measured with θ set to be 3.5° and quasi-vertical, respectively.
, black solid line, red dash line, and blue dot line denote the spectra of maximum TH measured from a single probe filament, the probe filament interacting with a pump filament, and the probe filament interacting with the plasma grating, respectively. The intensity of TH generation is enhanced by a factor about 3760 with θ set to 3.5°, and about 185 with θ set to be quasi-vertical. The enhancement factor is defined as the intensity of TH from the probe filament divided by that generated from a single probe filament.

In order to have a clear understanding of the physical mechanism of the plasma grating on the TH enhancement, the dependences of TH enhancement factor on the time delay τd and normalized TH intensity on the relative polarization are shown in Fig. 4 (a)
Fig. 4 The dependences of (a) TH enhancement factor on the time delay τd (black solid line, red dash line, and blue dot line denote the results generated from the probe filament interacting with the plasma grating with co-polarization and cross-polarization, and a co-polarized pump filament, respectively), and (b) normalized TH intensity on the relative polarization (black circles, and red triangles denote the results obtained by turning the polarization of probe filament, respectively) measured with θ set to 3.5°.
and Fig. 4(b) with θ set to 3.5°. The time delay dependences of enhancement factor obtained from the probe filament interacting with a single pump filament and the plasma grating with the polarization of probe filament perpendicular to that of the two pump filaments are also measured for comparison. With θ set to 3.5° (see inset in Fig. 4(a)), the TH signal grows fast with the increase of time delay τd, reaches a maximum at τd = 250 fs, and becomes stabilized at τd = 500 fs for the probe filament interacting with a single pump filament, which is in good agreement with the results obtained in Ref 22

22. M. Matsubara, C. Becher, A. Schmehl, J. Mannhart, D. G. Schlom, and M. Fiebig, “Optical second- and third-harmonic generation on the ferromagnetic semiconductor europium oxide,” J. Appl. Phys. 109(7), 07C309 (2011). [CrossRef]

. With longer time delay, TH signal exhibits a slow monotonic decay that can be well described by the function a(1+βτd)1 with decay constant β24fs1. The dependence of TH enhancement factor on the time delay τd with cross-polarization between the probe beam and the two pump beams used to form the plasma grating reveals a nearly similar phenomenon. For the interactions between the probe filament and the plasma grating with co-polarization between the probe beam and the two pump beams, the TH signal grows fast with the increase of time delay τdand reaches a maximum at τd = 260 fs, which is similar with the results obtained from the probe filament interacting with a single pump filament. However, it becomes stabilized at τd = 103 fs, which is much longer than that obtained from two filaments interaction. The TH signal also displays a decay which can be described by the same function a(1+βτd)1, but the decay constant becomesβ6fs1, which means a slower decay of the free-electron density inside plasma grating.

For the time delay τd = 260 fs, the normalized TH intensity as a function of the relative polarization shown in Fig. 4(b) exhibits an approximately exponential decay with the relative polarization. The maximum and the minimum TH generation are observed as the polarization of probe beam is parallel and orthogonal to that of the two pump beams. The TH intensity ratio Icx, which is defined as the TH enhancement factor obtained from the probe filament interacting with the plasma grating with co-polarization divided by that with cross-polarization, is about 3. For comparison, the same measurement is done for probe filament interacting with a single pump filament. As shown in Fig. 4(b), they both have a similar tendency which is different from the results obtained from the interaction between two noncollinear filaments in Ref 24

24. T. T. Xi, X. Lu, and J. Zhang, “Interaction of light filaments generated by femtosecond laser pulses in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 96(2), 025003 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

.

For more information about the effect of plasma grating on the enhancement of TH generated from probe filament, the crossing angle φ between the two pump filaments is adjusted to change the spatial period Λ of plasma grating by the functionΛ=λ/2sin(θ2). The dependence of normalized TH intensity on the spatial period Λ is shown in Fig. 6(a)
Fig. 6 The dependence of normalized TH intensity on spatial period of plasma grating with θ set to 3.5°, and (b)-(f) are the fluorescence distributions of plasma grating corresponding to the data dots shown above.
with θ set to 3.5°, and Figs. 6 (b)-6(f), which share the same ordinate, are the fluorescence distributions of plasma gratings corresponding to the data dots in Fig. 6(a) in sequence. It can be seen that the plasma gratings formed, when φ is set to 5.2° and 7.3°, are not stable, and no plasma grating is formed when φ is set to 9.2°. In our experiment, the obtained first two data dots from stable plasma gratings drop a hint that TH generation may increase with the decrease of spatial period Λ. Comparing the results with and without plasma grating, it can be found that plasma grating plays an important role on TH generation enhancement. When θ is set to be quasi-vertical and φ is set to be 3.8°, Fig. 7(a)
Fig. 7 The dependence of normalized TH intensity on crossing position on the plasma grating measured with θ set to be quasi-vertical.
shows how the normalized TH intensity changes with the relative position of probe filament on the plasma grating along the propagating direction of the two pump filaments. The light interaction area appeared in Fig. 7(b) corresponds to the third experimental data dot in Fig. 7(a). As shown in Fig. 7(a), TH generation has nearly no change at the leading part of the plasma grating (corresponding to the plasma grating length from 0 to 400μm), and decays quickly in the trailing part of plasma grating. This tendency may suggest that the free electron density inside the plasma grating has nearly no change in the leading part of plasma grating within a length of about 400μm, and decays quickly in the trailing part.

3.3 Broadening of the TH spectrum

When the time delay τd = 0 fs, and θ is set to be 3.5° and quasi-vertical, the measured TH spectra generated from the probe filament interacting with the plasma grating are compared with those measured from a single probe filament in Fig. 8
Fig. 8 The measured TH spectra generated from the probe filament. Black solid line, red dash line, and blue dot line denote the results obtained from a single probe filament, and the probe filament interacting with the plasma grating with θ set to be 3.5° and quasi-vertical, respectively.
. The width of TH spectra is about 7 nm with θ set to be quasi-vertical, and about 32 nm with θ set to 3.5°. A peak, which is close to the main peak, appears on the VUV edge of TH spectrum when θ is set to be quasi-vertical, and more than three peaks appear when θ is set to 3.5°.

The broadening of the TH spectra is due to the self-steepening effect which dominates the generation of spectral components in the UV region and the Cross-phase modulation which can induce unsymmetrical broadening of TH spectrum when more than one femtosecond laser pulses propagate together. The intense interaction of multifilament can induce the enhancement of the laser peak intensity in the interaction area due to the light filed interference [42

42. O. G. Kosareva, W. Liu, N. A. Panov, J. Bernhardt, Z. Ji, M. Sharifi, R. Li, Z. Xu, J. Liu, Z. Wang, J. Ju, X. Lu, Y. Jiang, Y. Leng, X. Liang, V. P. Kandidov, and S. L. Chin, “Can we reach very high intensity in air with femtosecond PW laser pulses?” Laser Phys. 19(8), 1776–1792 (2009). [CrossRef]

], and the higher fundamental laser peak intensity can result in more intense nonlinear effects, such as self-modulation, self-steepening effect, cross-phase modulation effect, i. e., the spatiotemporal modulation of the laser pulses in the interaction area is enhanced. The length of interaction area is effectively elongated when the crossing angle θ is very small, as shown in Fig. 2, and consequently, the length of spatiotemporal modulation is enhanced to cause the TH spectrum broadening to the VUV edge and having a much wider width. In general, the TH spectra of the probe filament can be broadened by the interaction between the probe filament and the plasma grating, and strongly depend on their crossing angle.

4. Conclusion

In summary, TH generation from the probe filament is controlled by the plasma grating formed by two noncollinear femtosecond filaments, and the contrast ratio of plasma grating can be enhanced by the probe filament. The enhancement of TH generation can be strongly affected by the relative polarization, the spatial period Λof plasma grating and the crossing position between probe filament and plasma grating. The length of the interaction range between the probe filament and the plasma grating dominates the enhanced efficiency of TH generation, and the physical mechanisms behind TH generation enhancement are the bulk effect and arrestment of Gouy phase shift. By using the plasma grating, the TH spectrum generated from the probe filament is considerably broadened, which can be explained by the self-steepening effect and the cross-phase modulation depending on the crossing angle between the probe filament and the plasma grating. The present work sheds light on the generation of femtosecond pulse with higher energy and shorter pulse duration in the UV range.

Acknowledgment

We would like to thank Dr. L. P. Shi in East China Normal University for help. This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.11135002, 11075069, 91026021, 11075068 and 10975065), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. lzujbky-2010-k08).

References and links

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A. Couairon, J. Biegert, C. P. Hauri, W. Kornelis, F. W. Helbing, U. Keller, and A. Mysyrowicz, “Self-compression of ultra-short laser pulses down to one optical cycle by filamentation,” J. Mod. Opt. 53, 75–85 (2006). [CrossRef]

14.

A. Zaïr, A. Guandalini, F. Schapper, M. Holler, J. Biegert, L. Gallmann, U. Keller, A. Couairon, M. Franco, and A. Mysyrowicz, “Spatio-temporal characterization of few-cycle pulses obtained by filamentation,” Opt. Express 15(9), 5394–5404 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15.

A. Mysyrowicz, A. Couairon, and U. Keller, “Self-compression of optical laser pulses by filamentation,” New J. Phys. 10(2), 025023 (2008). [CrossRef]

16.

J. S. Liu, H. Schroeder, S. L. Chin, R. X. Li, and Z. Z. Xu, “Nonlinear propagation of fs laser pulses in liquids and evolution of supercontinuum generation,” Opt. Express 13(25), 10248–10259 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

17.

G. Genty, M. Lehtonen, and H. Ludvigsen, “Effect of cross-phase modulation on supercontinuum generated in microstructured fibers with sub-30 fs pulses,” Opt. Express 12(19), 4614–4624 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

18.

N. Akozbek, A. Iwasaki, A. Becker, M. Scalora, S. L. Chin, and C. M. Bowden, “Third-harmonic generation and self-channeling in air using high-power femtosecond laser pulses,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 89(14), 143901 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

19.

A. B. Fedotov, S. M. Gladkov, N. I. Koroteev, and A. M. Zheltikov, “Highly efficient frequency tripling of laser radiation in a low-temperature laser-produced gaseous plasma,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 8(2), 363–366 (1991). [CrossRef]

20.

T. Y. F. Tsang, “Optical third-harmonic generation at interfaces,” Phys. Rev. A 52(5), 4116–4125 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

21.

R. A. Ganeev, M. Suzuki, M. Baba, H. Kuroda, and I. A. Kulagin, “Third-harmonic generation in air by use of femtosecond radiation in tight-focusing conditions,” Appl. Opt. 45(4), 748–755 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

22.

M. Matsubara, C. Becher, A. Schmehl, J. Mannhart, D. G. Schlom, and M. Fiebig, “Optical second- and third-harmonic generation on the ferromagnetic semiconductor europium oxide,” J. Appl. Phys. 109(7), 07C309 (2011). [CrossRef]

23.

H. Yang, J. Zhang, J. Zhang, L. Z. Zhao, Y. J. Li, H. Teng, Y. T. Li, Z. H. Wang, Z. L. Chen, Z. Y. Wei, J. X. Ma, W. Yu, and Z. M. Sheng, “Third-order harmonic generation by self-guided femtosecond pulses in air,” Phys. Rev. E Stat. Nonlin. Soft Matter Phys. 67(1), 015401–015404 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

24.

T. T. Xi, X. Lu, and J. Zhang, “Interaction of light filaments generated by femtosecond laser pulses in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 96(2), 025003 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

25.

B. Shim, S. E. Schrauth, C. J. Hensley, L. T. Vuong, P. Hui, A. A. Ishaaya, and A. L. Gaeta, “Controlled interactions of femtosecond light filaments in air,” Phys. Rev. A 81(6), 061803 (2010). [CrossRef]

26.

K. Hartinger and R. A. Bartels, “Enhancement of third harmonic generation by a laser-induced plasma,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93(15), 151102 (2008). [CrossRef]

27.

S. Suntsov, D. Abdollahpour, D. G. Papazoglou, and S. Tzortzakis, “Efficient third-harmonic generation through tailored IR femtosecond laser pulse filamentation in air,” Opt. Express 17(5), 3190–3195 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

28.

S. Suntsov, D. Abdollahpour, D. G. Papazoglou, and S. Tzortzakis, “Filamentation-induced third-harmonic generation in air via plasma-enhanced third-order susceptibility,” Phys. Rev. A 81(3), 033817 (2010). [CrossRef]

29.

X. Yang, J. Wu, Y. Peng, Y. Q. Tong, S. Yuan, L. E. Ding, Z. Z. Xu, and H. P. Zeng, “Noncollinear interaction of femtosecond filaments with enhanced third harmonic generation in air,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 95(11), 111103 (2009). [CrossRef]

30.

Y. Liu, M. Durand, A. Houard, B. Forestier, A. Couairon, and A. Mysyrowicz, “Efficient generation of third harmonic radiation in air filaments: A revisit,” Opt. Commun. 284(19), 4706–4713 (2011). [CrossRef]

31.

J. P. Yao, B. Zeng, W. Chu, J. L. Ni, and Y. Cheng, “Enhancement of third harmonic generation in femtosecond laser induced filamentation-comparison of results obtained with plasma and a pair of glass plates,” J. Mod. Opt. 59(3), 245–249 (2012). [CrossRef]

32.

X. Yang, J. Wu, Y. Peng, Y. Q. Tong, P. F. Lu, L. E. Ding, Z. Z. Xu, and H. P. Zeng, “Plasma waveguide array induced by filament interaction,” Opt. Lett. 34(24), 3806–3808 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

33.

M. Durand, Y. Liu, B. Forestier, A. Houard, and A. Mysyrowicz, “Experimental observation of a traveling plasma grating formed by two crossing filaments in gases,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 98(12), 121110 (2011). [CrossRef]

34.

J. Liu, W. X. Li, H. F. Pan, and H. P. Zeng, “Two-dimensional plasma grating by non-collinear femtosecond filament interaction in air,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 99(15), 151105 (2011). [CrossRef]

35.

J. K. Wahlstrand and H. M. Milchberg, “Effect of a plasma grating on pump-probe experiments near the ionization threshold in gases,” Opt. Lett. 36(19), 3822–3824 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

36.

P. Panagiotopoulos, N. K. Efremidis, D. G. Papazoglou, A. Couairon, and S. Tzortzakis, “Tailoring the filamentation of intense femtosecond laser pulses with periodic lattices,” Phys. Rev. A 82(6), 061803 (2010). [CrossRef]

37.

P. P. Kiran, S. Bagchi, C. L. Arnold, S. R. Krishnan, G. R. Kumar, and A. Couairon, “Filamentation without intensity clamping,” Opt. Express 18(20), 21504–21510 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

38.

L. P. Shi, W. X. Li, Y. D. Wang, X. Lu, L. E. Ding, and H. P. Zeng, “Generation of high-density electrons based on plasma grating induced Bragg diffraction in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 107(9), 095004 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

39.

X. Yang, J. Wu, Y. Q. Tong, L. E. Ding, Z. Z. Xu, and H. P. Zeng, “Femtosecond laser pulse energy transfer induced by plasma grating due to filament interaction in air,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 97(7), 071108 (2010). [CrossRef]

40.

Y. Liu, M. Durand, S. Chen, A. Houard, B. Prade, B. Forestier, and A. Mysyrowicz, “Energy exchange between femtosecond laser filaments in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 105(5), 055003 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

41.

A. C. Bernstein, M. McCormick, G. M. Dyer, J. C. Sanders, and T. Ditmire, “Two-beam coupling between filament-forming beams in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 102(12), 123902 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

42.

O. G. Kosareva, W. Liu, N. A. Panov, J. Bernhardt, Z. Ji, M. Sharifi, R. Li, Z. Xu, J. Liu, Z. Wang, J. Ju, X. Lu, Y. Jiang, Y. Leng, X. Liang, V. P. Kandidov, and S. L. Chin, “Can we reach very high intensity in air with femtosecond PW laser pulses?” Laser Phys. 19(8), 1776–1792 (2009). [CrossRef]

OCIS Codes
(190.2620) Nonlinear optics : Harmonic generation and mixing
(190.7110) Nonlinear optics : Ultrafast nonlinear optics
(300.6280) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, fluorescence and luminescence
(300.6380) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, modulation

ToC Category:
Nonlinear Optics

History
Original Manuscript: January 17, 2012
Revised Manuscript: March 13, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: March 15, 2012
Published: April 2, 2012

Citation
Zuoye Liu, Pengji Ding, Yanchao Shi, Xing Lu, Shaohua Sun, Xiaoliang Liu, Qingchao Liu, Baowei Ding, and Bitao Hu, "Control of third harmonic generation by plasma grating generated by two noncollinear IR femtosecond filaments," Opt. Express 20, 8837-8847 (2012)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-20-8-8837


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References

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  9. Y. D. Wang, Y. S. Zhang, P. Chen, L. P. Shi, X. Lu, J. Wu, L. E. Ding, and H. P. Zeng, “The formation of an intense filament controlled by interference of ultraviolet femtosecond pulses,” Appl. Phys. Lett.98(11), 111103 (2011). [CrossRef]
  10. S. Witte, R. T. Zinkstok, A. L. Wolf, W. Hogervorst, W. Ubachs, and K. S. E. Eikema, “A source of 2 terawatt, 2.7 cycle laser pulses based on noncollinear optical parametric chirped pulse amplification,” Opt. Express14(18), 8168–8177 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. C. P. Hauri, W. Kornelis, F. W. Helbing, A. Heinrich, A. Couairon, A. Mysyrowicz, J. Biegert, and U. Keller, “Generation of intense, carrier-envelope phase-locked few-cycle laser pulses through filamentation,” Appl. Phys. B79(6), 673–677 (2004). [CrossRef]
  12. A. Couairon, M. Franco, A. Mysyrowicz, J. Biegert, and U. Keller, “Pulse self-compression to the single-cycle limit by filamentation in a gas with a pressure gradient,” Opt. Lett.30(19), 2657–2659 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. A. Couairon, J. Biegert, C. P. Hauri, W. Kornelis, F. W. Helbing, U. Keller, and A. Mysyrowicz, “Self-compression of ultra-short laser pulses down to one optical cycle by filamentation,” J. Mod. Opt.53, 75–85 (2006). [CrossRef]
  14. A. Zaïr, A. Guandalini, F. Schapper, M. Holler, J. Biegert, L. Gallmann, U. Keller, A. Couairon, M. Franco, and A. Mysyrowicz, “Spatio-temporal characterization of few-cycle pulses obtained by filamentation,” Opt. Express15(9), 5394–5404 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. A. Mysyrowicz, A. Couairon, and U. Keller, “Self-compression of optical laser pulses by filamentation,” New J. Phys.10(2), 025023 (2008). [CrossRef]
  16. J. S. Liu, H. Schroeder, S. L. Chin, R. X. Li, and Z. Z. Xu, “Nonlinear propagation of fs laser pulses in liquids and evolution of supercontinuum generation,” Opt. Express13(25), 10248–10259 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. G. Genty, M. Lehtonen, and H. Ludvigsen, “Effect of cross-phase modulation on supercontinuum generated in microstructured fibers with sub-30 fs pulses,” Opt. Express12(19), 4614–4624 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. N. Akozbek, A. Iwasaki, A. Becker, M. Scalora, S. L. Chin, and C. M. Bowden, “Third-harmonic generation and self-channeling in air using high-power femtosecond laser pulses,” Phys. Rev. Lett.89(14), 143901 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. A. B. Fedotov, S. M. Gladkov, N. I. Koroteev, and A. M. Zheltikov, “Highly efficient frequency tripling of laser radiation in a low-temperature laser-produced gaseous plasma,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B8(2), 363–366 (1991). [CrossRef]
  20. T. Y. F. Tsang, “Optical third-harmonic generation at interfaces,” Phys. Rev. A52(5), 4116–4125 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. R. A. Ganeev, M. Suzuki, M. Baba, H. Kuroda, and I. A. Kulagin, “Third-harmonic generation in air by use of femtosecond radiation in tight-focusing conditions,” Appl. Opt.45(4), 748–755 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. M. Matsubara, C. Becher, A. Schmehl, J. Mannhart, D. G. Schlom, and M. Fiebig, “Optical second- and third-harmonic generation on the ferromagnetic semiconductor europium oxide,” J. Appl. Phys.109(7), 07C309 (2011). [CrossRef]
  23. H. Yang, J. Zhang, J. Zhang, L. Z. Zhao, Y. J. Li, H. Teng, Y. T. Li, Z. H. Wang, Z. L. Chen, Z. Y. Wei, J. X. Ma, W. Yu, and Z. M. Sheng, “Third-order harmonic generation by self-guided femtosecond pulses in air,” Phys. Rev. E Stat. Nonlin. Soft Matter Phys.67(1), 015401–015404 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. T. T. Xi, X. Lu, and J. Zhang, “Interaction of light filaments generated by femtosecond laser pulses in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett.96(2), 025003 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  25. B. Shim, S. E. Schrauth, C. J. Hensley, L. T. Vuong, P. Hui, A. A. Ishaaya, and A. L. Gaeta, “Controlled interactions of femtosecond light filaments in air,” Phys. Rev. A81(6), 061803 (2010). [CrossRef]
  26. K. Hartinger and R. A. Bartels, “Enhancement of third harmonic generation by a laser-induced plasma,” Appl. Phys. Lett.93(15), 151102 (2008). [CrossRef]
  27. S. Suntsov, D. Abdollahpour, D. G. Papazoglou, and S. Tzortzakis, “Efficient third-harmonic generation through tailored IR femtosecond laser pulse filamentation in air,” Opt. Express17(5), 3190–3195 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  28. S. Suntsov, D. Abdollahpour, D. G. Papazoglou, and S. Tzortzakis, “Filamentation-induced third-harmonic generation in air via plasma-enhanced third-order susceptibility,” Phys. Rev. A81(3), 033817 (2010). [CrossRef]
  29. X. Yang, J. Wu, Y. Peng, Y. Q. Tong, S. Yuan, L. E. Ding, Z. Z. Xu, and H. P. Zeng, “Noncollinear interaction of femtosecond filaments with enhanced third harmonic generation in air,” Appl. Phys. Lett.95(11), 111103 (2009). [CrossRef]
  30. Y. Liu, M. Durand, A. Houard, B. Forestier, A. Couairon, and A. Mysyrowicz, “Efficient generation of third harmonic radiation in air filaments: A revisit,” Opt. Commun.284(19), 4706–4713 (2011). [CrossRef]
  31. J. P. Yao, B. Zeng, W. Chu, J. L. Ni, and Y. Cheng, “Enhancement of third harmonic generation in femtosecond laser induced filamentation-comparison of results obtained with plasma and a pair of glass plates,” J. Mod. Opt.59(3), 245–249 (2012). [CrossRef]
  32. X. Yang, J. Wu, Y. Peng, Y. Q. Tong, P. F. Lu, L. E. Ding, Z. Z. Xu, and H. P. Zeng, “Plasma waveguide array induced by filament interaction,” Opt. Lett.34(24), 3806–3808 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  33. M. Durand, Y. Liu, B. Forestier, A. Houard, and A. Mysyrowicz, “Experimental observation of a traveling plasma grating formed by two crossing filaments in gases,” Appl. Phys. Lett.98(12), 121110 (2011). [CrossRef]
  34. J. Liu, W. X. Li, H. F. Pan, and H. P. Zeng, “Two-dimensional plasma grating by non-collinear femtosecond filament interaction in air,” Appl. Phys. Lett.99(15), 151105 (2011). [CrossRef]
  35. J. K. Wahlstrand and H. M. Milchberg, “Effect of a plasma grating on pump-probe experiments near the ionization threshold in gases,” Opt. Lett.36(19), 3822–3824 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  36. P. Panagiotopoulos, N. K. Efremidis, D. G. Papazoglou, A. Couairon, and S. Tzortzakis, “Tailoring the filamentation of intense femtosecond laser pulses with periodic lattices,” Phys. Rev. A82(6), 061803 (2010). [CrossRef]
  37. P. P. Kiran, S. Bagchi, C. L. Arnold, S. R. Krishnan, G. R. Kumar, and A. Couairon, “Filamentation without intensity clamping,” Opt. Express18(20), 21504–21510 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  38. L. P. Shi, W. X. Li, Y. D. Wang, X. Lu, L. E. Ding, and H. P. Zeng, “Generation of high-density electrons based on plasma grating induced Bragg diffraction in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett.107(9), 095004 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  39. X. Yang, J. Wu, Y. Q. Tong, L. E. Ding, Z. Z. Xu, and H. P. Zeng, “Femtosecond laser pulse energy transfer induced by plasma grating due to filament interaction in air,” Appl. Phys. Lett.97(7), 071108 (2010). [CrossRef]
  40. Y. Liu, M. Durand, S. Chen, A. Houard, B. Prade, B. Forestier, and A. Mysyrowicz, “Energy exchange between femtosecond laser filaments in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett.105(5), 055003 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  41. A. C. Bernstein, M. McCormick, G. M. Dyer, J. C. Sanders, and T. Ditmire, “Two-beam coupling between filament-forming beams in air,” Phys. Rev. Lett.102(12), 123902 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  42. O. G. Kosareva, W. Liu, N. A. Panov, J. Bernhardt, Z. Ji, M. Sharifi, R. Li, Z. Xu, J. Liu, Z. Wang, J. Ju, X. Lu, Y. Jiang, Y. Leng, X. Liang, V. P. Kandidov, and S. L. Chin, “Can we reach very high intensity in air with femtosecond PW laser pulses?” Laser Phys.19(8), 1776–1792 (2009). [CrossRef]

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