Abstract

Strong-field ionization in optical filaments created by ultrashort pulses with sub-cycle engineered waveforms is studied theoretically. To elucidate the physics of the recently demonstrated enhanced ionization yield and spatial control of the optical filament core in two color pulses, we employ two types of quantum models integrated into spatially resolved pulse-propagation simulations. We show that the dependence of the ionization on the shape of the excitation carrier is adiabatic in nature, and is driven by local temporal peaks of the electric field. Implications for the modeling of light–matter interactions in multicolor optical fields are also discussed.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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