OSA's Digital Library

Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 35, Iss. 10 — May. 15, 2010
  • pp: 1653–1655

Self-focusing in air with phase-stabilized few-cycle light pulses

D. E. Laban, W. C. Wallace, R. D. Glover, R. T. Sang, and D. Kielpinski  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 35, Issue 10, pp. 1653-1655 (2010)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (224 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We investigate the nonlinear optical phenomenon of self-focusing in air with phase-stabilized few-cycle light pulses. This investigation looks at the role of the carrier-envelope phase by observing a filament in air, a nonlinear phenomenon that can be utilized for few-cycle pulse compression [ Appl. Phys. B 79, 673 (2004) ]. We were able to measure the critical power for self-focusing in air to be 18 ± 1   GW for a 6.3 fs pulse centered at 800 nm. Using this value and a basic first-order theory, we predicted that the self-focusing distance should deviate by 790 μ m as the carrier-envelope phase is shifted from 0 to π / 2   rad . In contrast, the experimental results showed no deviation in the focus distance with a 3 σ upper limit of 180 μ m . These counterintuitive results show the need for further study of self-focusing dynamics in the few-cycle regime.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(190.3270) Nonlinear optics : Kerr effect
(260.5950) Physical optics : Self-focusing
(320.2250) Ultrafast optics : Femtosecond phenomena
(320.7110) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast nonlinear optics

ToC Category:
Nonlinear Optics

Original Manuscript: November 10, 2009
Revised Manuscript: March 17, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: March 30, 2010
Published: May 7, 2010

D. E. Laban, W. C. Wallace, R. D. Glover, R. T. Sang, and D. Kielpinski, "Self-focusing in air with phase-stabilized few-cycle light pulses," Opt. Lett. 35, 1653-1655 (2010)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. T. Brabec and F. Krausz, Rev. Mod. Phys. 72, 545 (2000). [CrossRef]
  2. T. Udem, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hansch, Nature 416, 233 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. J. H. Marburger, Prog. Quantum Electron. 4, 35 (1975). [CrossRef]
  4. V. I. Talanov, JETP Lett. 11, 199 (1970).
  5. A. Braun, G. Korn, X. Liu, D. Du, J. Squier, and G. A. Mourou, Opt. Lett. 20, 73 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. X. Chen, X. Li, J. Liu, P. Wei, X. Ge, R. Li, and Z. Xu, Opt. Lett. 32, 2402 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. A. Guandalini, P. Eckle, M. Anscombe, P. Schlup, J. Biegert, and U. Keller, J. Phys. B 39, S257 (2006). [CrossRef]
  8. D. Faccio, A. Lotti, M. Kolesik, J. V. Moloney, S. Tzortzakis, A. Couairon, and P. Di Trapani, Opt. Express 16, 11103 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. C. P. Hauri, W. Kornelis, F. W. Helbing, A. Heinrich, A. Couairon, A. Mysyrowicz, J. Biegert, and U. Keller, Appl. Phys. B 79, 673 (2004). [CrossRef]
  10. J. Ripoche, G. Grillon, B. Prade, M. Franco, E. Nibbering, R. Lange, and A. Mysyrowicz, Opt. Commun. 135, 310 (1997). [CrossRef]
  11. W. Liu and S. L. Chin, Opt. Express 13, 5750 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. A. Baltuska, T. Udem, M. Uiberacker, M. Hentschel, E. Goulielmakis, C. Gohle, R. Holzwarth, V. S. Yakoviev, A. Scrinzi, T. W. Hansch, and F. Krausz, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 9, 972 (2003). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited