Guiding and focusing of a nanosecond infrared laser within transient hollow plasma femtosecond filament channels
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Long distance guidance and focusing of infrared (IR) nanosecond-pulsed laser light in a hollow plasma channel formed with femtosecond pulsed laser plasma filaments is examined with numerical experiments. Numerical models show that a thick hollow plasma channel can provide low loss long distance (>100m) guidance of the IR nanosecond-pulsed laser beam. The effectiveness of guidance is determined by the electron number density, thickness of the plasma filament shell and the size of the inner radius of the hollow plasma channel. The hollow plasma channel can be thought of as an open-space optical fibre. The required thickness of the plasma channel with specified electron number density and the inner radius can be estimated with modal analysis, similar to that used for optical fibres. In addition, with a small tapering angle in the hollow plasma channel, the guided light can be moderately focused during long distance propagation. Owing to the rapid decay of electron number density of a plasma channel in free space, the delay time between the generation of the plasma channel and the guided light along with the duration of the guided light are better to be maintained within a few nanoseconds. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.
author list (cited authors)
Wen, S., Chen, C., Mao, X., & Russo, R. E.