Abstract

In the first two parts of this study, the electromagnetic field components were derived for infinitely long, flattened Gaussian laser beams [J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 23, 2157 and J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 23, 2166 (2006) ]. These results are now extended without approximation to allow for finite laser pulses having an arbitrary duration beginning with the standard Gaussian beam profile and then generalizing these results to a flattened Gaussian. The resulting models thus allow for all pulse durations and spot sizes from infinite, paraxial beams to single-cycle, wavelength-size spots, with a savings of more than 2 orders of magnitude in computation time. Pulses having fewer than ten cycles exhibit significant modification from the monochromatic fields as a result of the finite bandwidth. Specifically, the energy in the focus is shown to decrease from the theoretical value of 86.5% to as low as 72.2% for a single-cycle pulse.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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