Abstract

A frequency-domain interferometer for probing the variations of the dielectric constant of a plasma with sub-100-fs temporal resolution and λ/2000 phase resolution is described. Imaging the plasma on the entrance slit of a spectrograph provides spatial resolution along a diameter of the focal spot. The technique is used to map out the expansion of the critical density surface of a femtosecond laser-produced plasma with subnanometer spatial resolution along the laser axis.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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