Abstract

Supercontinuum generation in air using tightly focused femtosecond laser pulses was investigated experimentally. Broadband white-light emission covering the whole visible spectral region was generated. Spectral broadening extended only to the blue side of the fundamental frequency due to the phase modulation induced by the strong ionization of air. Numerical simulation was also performed to confirm the spectral broadening mechanism. A constant UV cutoff wavelength close to 400nm was observed in the supercontinuum spectrum. This phenomenon indicated that intensity clamping still plays a role in tight focusing geometry.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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