Abstract

At first glance, the amount of water molecules naturally contained in humid air is negligibly small to affect filamentation of ultrashort laser pulses. However, here we show, both experimentally and numerically, that for ultraviolet laser pulses with 248 nm wavelength this is not true. We demonstrate that with increase of air humidity the plasma channels generated by the ultraviolet laser pulses in air become longer and wider, while the corresponding electron density in humid air can be up to one order of magnitude higher compared to dry air.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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