Abstract

We demonstrate numerically and experimentally that intense pulses propagating in gas-filled capillaries can undergo localization in space and time due to strong plasma defocusing. This phenomenon can occur below or above the self-focusing threshold Pcr as a result of ionization-induced refraction that excites higher-order modes. The constructive interference of higher-order modes leads to spatiotemporal localization and resurgence of the intensity. Simulations show that this confinement is more prominent at shorter wavelength pulses and for smaller capillary diameters. Experiments with ultraviolet pulses show evidence that this ionization-induced refocusing appears below Pcr and thus represents a mechanism for spatiotemporal confinement without self-focusing.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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