Abstract

The fiber-optic delivery of sparks in gases is challenging as the output beam must be refocused to high intensity (200  GW/cm2 for nanosecond pulses). Analysis suggests the use of coated hollow core fibers, fiber lasers, and photonic crystal fibers (PCFs). We study the effects of launch conditions and bending for 2  m long coated hollow fibers and find an optimum launch f# of 55 allowing spark formation with 98% reliability for bends up to a radius of curvature of 1.5  m in atmospheric pressure air. Spark formation using the output of a pulsed fiber laser is described, and delivery of 0.55  mJ pulses through PCFs is shown.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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