Abstract

Non-Gaussian laser beams can open new opportunities for microfabrication, including ultrashort laser direct writing. Using a model based on Maxwell’s equations, we have investigated the dynamics of doughnut-shaped laser beams focused inside fused silica glass, in comparison with Gaussian pulses of the same energy. The laser propagation dynamics reveals intriguing features of beam splitting and sudden collapse toward the beam axis, overcoming the intensity clamping effect. The resulting structure of light absorption represents a very hot, hollow nanocylinder, which can lead to an implosion process that brings matter to extreme thermodynamic states. Monitoring the simulations of the laser beam scattering has shown a considerable difference in both the blueshift and the angular distribution of scattered light for different laser energies, suggesting that investigations of the spectra of scattered radiation can be used as a diagnostic of laser-produced electron plasmas in transparent materials.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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