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Optics Letters

| RAPID, SHORT PUBLICATIONS ON THE LATEST IN OPTICAL DISCOVERIES

  • 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)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.35.001653


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Abstract

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

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

Citation
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)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-35-10-1653

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