The competition between optical breakdown (OB) and laser-pulse filamentation (FL) in bulk fused silica is investigated by using a 1-kHz femtosecond infrared laser. We measure input powers corresponding to the threshold of OB and FL in terms of external focusing conditions. The results demonstrate that OB precedes FL for tight focusing, whereas for sufficiently long focal lengths FL takes places at a lower power than OB does.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
N. T. Nguyen, A. Saliminia, W. Liu, S. L. Chin, and R. Vallée, "Optical breakdown versus filamentation in fused silica by use of femtosecond infrared laser pulses," Opt. Lett. 28, 1591-1593 (2003)