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- Optical and ultrasonic signatures of femtosecond pulse filamentation in fused silica
- Mizeikis, Vygantas; Juodkazis, Saulius; Balciunas, Tadas; Misawa, Hiroaki; Kudryashov, Sergey I.; Zvorykin, Vladimir D.; Ionin, Andrei A.
- Millimeter-long filaments and accompanying luminous plasma and defect channels created in fused silica by single, moderately focused femtosecond laser pulses with supercritical powers were probed in situ using optical imaging and contact ultrasonic techniques. Above the threshold pulse energy Eopt = 5 μJ corresponding to a few megawatt power, the pulses collapse due to self-focusing and the nonlinear focus moves upstream with increasing pulse energy. Behind the focus, elongated, gradually narrowing awl-shaped channels of electron-hole plasma and luminescent defects are produced. In the channels, whose dimensions generally depend on the pulse energy, supercontinuum emission propagating downstream the channels occurs, although its observation requires elevated pulse energies above 25 μJ in order to compensate energy dissipation in the channels. Ultrasonic side-view imaging of the channels, conducted from a few millimeters distance, reveals predominantly compressive pressure transients. The compressive signals are observed above the same threshold pulse energy Eopt, and their amplitude increases linearly with the laser pulse energy, simultaneously exhibiting significant temporal broadening of the corresponding pulsewidths, reflecting square root dependence of the channel length and sublinear (∝E3/4) dependence of the source pressure on the pulse energy. Altogether, these optical and ultrasonic studies demonstrate filamentary pulse propagation with considerable dissipation ( ∼ 10 cm−1) in the awl-shaped subcritical plasma channels rich with generated point defects and optical damage sites.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 105, no. 12 (Jun 2009), article no. 123106
- Publication year
- American Institute of Physics
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2009 American Institute of Physics. Published version of this paper reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.