Abstract

We demonstrate unexpectedly strong second harmonic generation (SHG) in argon gas by use of spatio–temporally focused (SF) femtosecond laser pulses. The resulting SHG by the SF scheme at a 75 cm distance shows a significantly enhanced efficiency than that achieved with conventional focusing schemes, which offers a new promising possibility for standoff applications. Our theoretical calculations reasonably reproduce the experimental observations, which indicate that the observed SHG mainly originates from the gradient of non-uniform plasma dynamically controlled by the SF laser field.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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