Abstract

Long self-trapped femtosecond ultraviolet filaments created in the bulk of pure fused silica are used to induce permanent structural changes in the medium. We monitor the laser pulse propagation as a filamentary structure and the plasma string left at its trail. We investigate and demonstrate the link of the filament-induced plasma to the permanent structural changes left in the medium. Specific electron density thresholds are found for the induced modifications.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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