Abstract

A focused ultrashort pulse can reach high enough intensity that non-linear ionization dominates its interaction with transparent media while still having relatively low fluence. In this case, the energy extracted from the beam can counter self-focusing by energy depletion and plasma formation, providing controlled energy deposition that can modify the material in a highly local manner. We demonstrate that non-linear absorption limits the intensity that can be reached and that the energy is deposited prior to the focus. We model the energy distribution, and predict and measure the energy transmitted through the focus. We establish the threshold intensity for non-linear ionization in dielectrics at ~ 10¹³ W cm-². We use the refractive index modification that the non-linear ionization causes in glass to image the spatial distribution of the energy deposition.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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Appl. Phys. B (1)

A. Vogel, J. Noack, K. Nahen, D. Theisen, S. Busch, U. Parlitz, D. Hammer, G. Noojin, B. Rockwell, and R. Birngruber, �??Energy balance of optical breakdown in water at nanosecond to femtosecond time scales,�?? Appl. Phys. B 68, 271�??280 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Surf. Sci. (1)

J. Krüger andW. Kautek, �??Femtosecond-pulse visible laser processing of transparent materials,�?? Appl. Surf. Sci. 96-98, 430�??438 (1996).
[CrossRef]

CLEO (1)

N. Shen, C. B. Schaffer, D. Datta, and E. Mazur, �??Photodisruption in biological tissues and single cells using femtosecond laser pulses,�?? in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, pp. 403�??404 (Baltimore, MD, 2001).

J. Non-crystal. Solids (1)

O. M. Efimov, L. B. Glebov, S. Grantham, and M. Richardson, �??Photoionization of silicate glasses exposed to IR femtosecond pulses,�?? J. Non-crystal. Solids 253, 58�??67 (1999).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. B (2)

J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Phys. (1)

L. N. Gaier, M. Lein, M. I. Stockman, P. L. Knight, P. B. Corkum, M. Y. Ivanov, and G. L. Yudin, �??Ultrafast multiphoton forest fires and fractals in clusters and dielectrics,�?? J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Phys. 37, L57�??L67 (2004).

Laser Physics (1)

G. L. Yudin, L. N. Gaier, M. Lein, P. L. Knight, P. B. Corkum, and M. Y. Ivanov, �??Hole-Assisted Energy Deposition in Clusters and Dielectrics in Multiphoton Regime,�?? Laser Physics 14, 51-56 (2004).

Nature (1)

M. F. Yanik, H. Cinar, H. N. Cinar, A. D. Chisholm, Y. Jin, and A. Ben-Yakar, �??Neurosurgery: Functional regeneration after laser axotomy,�?? Nature 432, 822 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Commun. (1)

W. Liu, S. Petit, A. Becker, N. Aközbek, C. M. Bowden, S. L. Chin, �??Intensity clamping of a femtosecond laser pulse in condensed matter,�?? Opt. Commun. 202, 189�??197 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Lett. (4)

Phys. Rev. Lett. (3)

M. Lenzner, J. Krger, S. Sartania, Z. Cheng, C. Spielmann, G. Mourou,W. Kautek, and F. Krausz, �??Femtosecond Optical Breakdown in Dielectrics,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 80, 4076�??4079 (1998).
[CrossRef]

S. Augst, D. Strickland, D. D. Meyerhofer, S. L. Chin, and J. H. Eberly, �??Tunneling ionization of noble gases in a high-intensity laser field,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 63, 2212�??2215 (1989).
[CrossRef]

P. B. Corkum, C. Rolland, and T. Srinivasan-Rao, �??Supercontinuum generation in gases,�?? Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 2268�??2271 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Sov. Phys. JETP (1)

V. Keldysh, �??Ionization in the field of a strong electromagnetic wave,�?? Sov. Phys. JETP 20, 1307�??1314 (1965).

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