Abstract

We provide a theoretical description of the spatio-temporal dynamics of sequential filamentation in noble gases that can lead to pulse compression down to nearly single-cycle pulses. We show that the strong pulse compression occurs as a result of serially-generated on-axis filaments and spectral filtering of an extensive blue-shifted compressible spectra. We show that the dynamics of this sequential filamentation can be readily tuned by varying the gas pressure and can be scaled to various pulse energies.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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2007 (4)

2006 (9)

G. Stibenz, N. Zhavoronkov, and G. Steinmeyer, "Self-compression of millijoule pulses to 7.8 fs duration in a white-light filament," Opt. Lett. 31, 274 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Moses and F.W. Wise, "Soliton compression in quadratic media: high-energy few-cycle pulses with a frequency-doubling crystal," Opt. Lett. 31, 1881 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

G. Fibich, Y. Sivan, Y. Ehrlich, E. Louzon, M. Fraenkel, S. Eisenmann, Y. Katzir, and A. Zigler, "Control of the collapse in atmospheric propagation," Opt. Express 14, 4946 (2006), http://www.opticsexpress.org.proxy.library.cornell.edu:2048/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-14-12-4946.
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

T.D. Grow, A.A. Ishaaya, L.T. Vuong, A.L. Gaeta, N. Gavish, and G. Fibich, "Collapse of super-Gaussian beams," Opt. Express 14, 5468 (2006), http://www.opticsexpress.org.proxy.library.cornell.edu:2048/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-14-12-5468.
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

T. Pfeifer, L. Gallmann, M.J. Abel, D.M. Neumark, and S.R. Leone, "Circular phase mask for control and stabilization of single optical filaments," Opt. Lett. 31, 2326 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Prade, M. Franco, A. Mysyrowicz, A. Couairon, H. Buersing, B. Eberle, M. Krenz, D. Seiffer, and O. Vasseur, "Spatial mode cleaning by femtosecond filamentation in air," Opt. Lett. 31, 2601 (2006)
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A.J. Verhoef, J. Seres, K. Schmid, Y. Nomura, G. Tempea, L. Veisz, and F. Krausz, "Compression of the pulses of a Ti:sapphire to 5 femtoseconds at 0.2 terawatt level," Appl. Phys. B 82, 513 (2006).
[CrossRef]

S. Skupin, G. Stibenz, L. Berg’e, F. Lederer, T. Sokollik, M. Schnurer, N. Zhavoronkov, and G. Steinmeyer, "Selfcompression by femtosecond pulse filamentation: Experiments versus numerical simulations," Phys. Rev. E 74, 056604 (2006).
[CrossRef]

G. Heck, J. Sloss, R.J. Levis, "Adaptive control of the spatial position of white light filaments in an aqueous solution," Opt. Commun. 259, 216 (2006).
[CrossRef]

2005 (4)

J.S. Liu, H. Schroeder, S.L. Chin, R.X. Li, and Z.Z. Li, "Ultrafast control of multiple filamentation by ultrafast laser pulses," Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 1611 (2005).

S.O. Konorov, E.E. Serebryannikov, A.B. Fedotov, R.B. Miles, and A.M. Zheltikov, "Phase-matched waveguide four-wave mixing scaled to higher peak powers with large-core-area hollow photonic-crystal fibers," Phys. Rev. E 71, 057603 (2005).
[CrossRef]

N. Ishii, L. Turi, V.S. Yakovlev, T. Fuji, F. Krausz, A. Baltuska, R. Butkus, G. Veitas, V. Smilgevicius, R. Danielius, and A. Piskarskas, "Multimillijoule chirped parametric amplification of few-cycle pulses," Opt. Lett. 30, 567 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. Couairon, M. Franco, A. Mysyrowicz, J. Biegert, and U. Keller, "Pulse self-compression to the single-cycle limit by filamentation in a gas with a pressure gradient," Opt. Lett. 30, 2657 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2004 (8)

A. Dubietis, G. Tamogauskas, G. Fibich, and B. Ilan, "Multiple filamentation induced by input-beam ellipticity," Opt. Lett. 29, 1126 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Kolesik and J.V. Moloney, "Nonlinear optical pulse propagation simulation: from Maxwell’s to unidirectional equations," Phys. Rev. E 70, 036604 (2004).
[CrossRef]

M. Kolesik, E.M. Wright, and J.V. Moloney, "Dynamic nonlinear X waves for femtosecond pulse propagation in water," Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 083902 (2004).
[CrossRef]

A. Dubietis, E. Gaizauskas, G. Tamosauskas, and P. Di Trapani, "Light filaments without self-channeling," Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 253903 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C.P. Hauri, W. Kornelis, F.W. Helbing, A. Heinrich, A. Couairon, A. Mysyrowicz, J. Biegert, and U. Keller, "Generation of intense, carrier-envelope phase-locked few cycle laser pulses through filamentation," Appl. Phys. B 79, 673 (2004).
[CrossRef]

P. Sprangle, J.R. Penano, B. Hafizi, C.A. Kapetanakos, "Ultrashort laser pulses and electromagnetic pulse generation in air and on dielectric surfaces," Phys. Rev. E 69, 066415 (2004).
[CrossRef]

S. Skupin, L. Berg’e, U. Peschel, and F. Lederer, "Interaction of femtosecond light filaments with obscurants in aerosols," Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 023901 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

N.L. Wagner, E.A. Gibson, T. Popmintchev, I.P. Christov, M.M. Murnane, and H.C. Kapteyn, "Self-compression of ultrashort pulses through ionization-induced spatio-temporal reshaping," Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 173902 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2003 (8)

I.S. Golubtsov, V.P. Kandidov, and O.G. Kosareva, "Initial phase modulation of a high-power femtosecond laser pulse as a tool for controlling its filamentation and generation of a supercontinuum in air," Quantum. Electron. 33, 525 (2003).
[CrossRef]

A.L. Gaeta, "Collapsing light really shines," Science 301, 54 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Kasparian, M. Rodriguez, G. Mejean, J. Yu, E. Salmon, H. Wille, R. Bourayou, S. Frey, Y.B. Andre, A. Mysyrowicz, R. Sauerbrey, J.P. Wolf, and L. Woste, "White-light filaments for atmospheric analysis," Science 301, 61 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

F. Courvoisier, V. Boutou, J. Kasparian, E. Salmon, G. Mejean, J. Yu, and J.P. Wolf, "Ultraintense light filaments transmitted through clouds," Appl. Phys. Lett. 83, 213 (2003).
[CrossRef]

S. Champeaux and L. Berg’e, "Femtosecond pulse compression in pressure-gas cells filled with argon" Phys. Rev. E 68, 066603 (2003).
[CrossRef]

K.D. Moll, A.L. Gaeta, and G. Fibich, "Self-similar optical wave collapse: observation of the Townes profile," Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 203902 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

G. Fibich, W.Q. Ren, X.P. Wang, "Numerical simulations of self-focusing of ultrafast laser pulses," Phys. Rev. E 67, 056603 (2003).
[CrossRef]

A. Couairon, S. Tzortzakis, L. Berg’e, M. Franco, and A. Mysyrowicz, "Infrared femtosecond light filaments in air: simulations and experiments," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 19, 1117 (2003).
[CrossRef]

2002 (1)

M. Nurhuda, A. Suda, M. Hatayama, K. Nagasaka, and K. Midorikawa, "Propagation dynamics of femtosecond laser pulses in argon," Phys. Rev. A 66, 023811 (2002).
[CrossRef]

2001 (1)

A.V. Sokolov, D.R. Walker, D.D. Yavuz, G.Y. Yin, and S.E. Harris, "Femtosecond light source for phasecontrolled multi-photon ionization," Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 033402 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2000 (3)

A. L. Gaeta, "Catastrophic collapse of ultrashort pulses," Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 3582 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

S. Tzortzakis, B. Prade, M. Franco, A. Mysyrowicz, "Time-evolution of the plasma channel at the trail of a self-guided IR femtosecond laser pulse in air," Opt. Commun. 181, 123 (2000).
[CrossRef]

G. Fibich and A. L. Gaeta, "On the critical power for self-focusing in bulk media and in hollow waveguides," Opt. Lett. 25, 335 (2000).
[CrossRef]

1999 (1)

M. Geissler, G. Tempea, A. Scrinzi, M. Schnurer, F. Krausz, and T. Brabec, "Light propagation in field-ionizing media: extreme nonlinear optics," Phys. Rev. Lett. 83, 2930 (1999).
[CrossRef]

1998 (2)

M. Mlejnek, E.M. Wright, and J.V. Moloney, "Femtosecond pulse propagation in argon: A pressure dependence study," Phys. Rev. E 58, 4903 (1998).
[CrossRef]

M. Mlejnek, E.M. Wright, J.V. Moloney, "Dynamic spatial replenishment of femtosecond pulses propagating in air," Opt. Lett. 23, 382 (1998).
[CrossRef]

1997 (1)

Q. Feng, J.V. Moloney, A.C. Newell, E.M. Wright, K. Cook, P.K. Kennedy, D.X. Hammer, B.A. Rockwell, and C.R. Thompson, "Theory and simulation on the threshold of water breakdown induced by focused ultrashort laser pulses," J. Quantum. Electron. 33, 127 (1997).
[CrossRef]

1996 (2)

1995 (1)

1994 (1)

1979 (1)

M.B.S. Lima, C.A.S. Lima, and L.C.M. Miranda, "Screening effect on the plasma heating by inversebremsstrahlung," Phys. Rev. A 19, 1796 (1979).
[CrossRef]

1974 (1)

M.D. Feit and J.A. FleckJr., "Effect of refraction on spot-size dependence of laser-induced breakdown," Appl. Phys. Lett. 24, 169 (1974).
[CrossRef]

1973 (1)

J.F. Seely and E.G. Harris, "Heating of a plasma by multi-photon inverse-bremsstrahlung," Phys. Rev. A 7, 1064 (1973).
[CrossRef]

1965 (1)

L.V. Keldysh, "Ionization in the field of a strong electromagnetic wave," Sov. Phys.JETP-USSR 20, 1307 (1965).

1964 (1)

R. Y. Chiao, E. Garmire, and C.H. Townes, "Self-trapping of optical beams," Phys. Rev. Lett. 13, 479 (1964).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. B (2)

C.P. Hauri, W. Kornelis, F.W. Helbing, A. Heinrich, A. Couairon, A. Mysyrowicz, J. Biegert, and U. Keller, "Generation of intense, carrier-envelope phase-locked few cycle laser pulses through filamentation," Appl. Phys. B 79, 673 (2004).
[CrossRef]

A.J. Verhoef, J. Seres, K. Schmid, Y. Nomura, G. Tempea, L. Veisz, and F. Krausz, "Compression of the pulses of a Ti:sapphire to 5 femtoseconds at 0.2 terawatt level," Appl. Phys. B 82, 513 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (3)

F. Courvoisier, V. Boutou, J. Kasparian, E. Salmon, G. Mejean, J. Yu, and J.P. Wolf, "Ultraintense light filaments transmitted through clouds," Appl. Phys. Lett. 83, 213 (2003).
[CrossRef]

J.S. Liu, H. Schroeder, S.L. Chin, R.X. Li, and Z.Z. Li, "Ultrafast control of multiple filamentation by ultrafast laser pulses," Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 1611 (2005).

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Figures (6)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Predicted time-integrated and normalized plasma density as a function of propagation at different argon gas pressures: (a) 0.55 atm [P=0.95Pcr ] (b) 0.70 atm [P=1.2Pcr ] (c) 0.75 atm [P=1.3Pcr ] (d) 0.83 atm [P=1.35Pcr ] (e) 0.88 atm [P=1.42Pcr ]

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

On-axis peak intensity as a function of propagation with different material parameters. Lines [blue, green, red, cyan] correspond to P/Pcr =[0.95,1.3,1.8,2.2], Ldf /Lmp =[3×10-8,3×10-7,3×10-6,3×10-5] and Ldf /Lpl =[5.7×10-8,1.2×10-6,2.1×10-5,2.7×10-4].

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

(a) Contour plot of fluence corresponding to Fig. 2 and P=1.3Pcr . Contour lines are equally-spaced on a linear scale. The position of the plasma filaments are dotted. (b) Lineout of spatial beam profile at z=40 cm. (c) Lineout of spatial beam profile at z=70 cm.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Contours of spectrum vs. radius at various distances during the optimized sequential filament propagation (a) at the onset of the first plasma filament stage at z=36 cm, (b) in the middle of the first plasma filament at z=43 cm, (c) near the end of the first filament at z=51 cm, (d) at the onset of the second plasma filament stage at z=62 cm, and (e) near the end of the second plasma filament. Aperture-dependent (f) power spectra and (g) temporal profiles at the sequential filament output z=69 cm.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Spatial-spectral distributions after sequential filamentation with power P=1.3Pcr (a) at z=74 cm and (b) in the far-field when imaged by a 100-cm lens, assuming linear propagation after z=74 cm.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Output on-axis power spectra corresponding to Fig 1, for different pressures at the propagation distance at which the normalized plasma density has by approximately 2=3 of its value at the peak. The maximal blue-shoulder corresponds with the most distinct double-filament plasma structure in Fig. 1(c).

Equations (8)

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u ζ = i 4 T 1 2 u iL df 2 L ds u tt + T iL df L nl u 2 u L df 2 L mp η t u u 2 iL df L pl ( 1 i ω 0 τ c ) [ u τ c τ p u t 1 i ω 0 τ c ] η ,
η t = η t = u 2 m .
L df L ds p ,
L df L nl p ,
L df L mp p m .
L df L pl p m 2 .
L df L pl L df L mp τ c 2 .
( L df L nl T u 2 u ) ( 2 T 1 u ) ω 2 ,

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