Direct Observation of Laser Filamentation in High-Order Harmonic Generation Direct Observation of Laser Filamentation in High-Order Harmonic Generation
We present the first direct evidence (to our knowledge) of laser filamentation under conditions ideal for high-order harmonic generation. The 30 fs, 4 mJ, laser pulses were observed to undergo double focusing within the gas cell, with about 4 cm separating the two foci. The region with best harmonic emission occurs midway between the two foci. The radial profile of the laser focus, 150-200 microns in diameter, evolves from a Gaussian-like profile to a more square-top profile as it propagates over several centimeters. The filamentation phenomenon as well as the brightness of the harmonics improves when an aperture is partially closed on the laser beam before reaching the focusing mirror.
A spectral sampling of the imaged laser focus revealed a 4 nm blue-shift associated with the generation of plasma in the gas cell. The blue-shifting occurs primarily in the center of the laser beam and less at the wider radii. The initial laser pulse had a spectrum centered at 800 nm with a 35 nm bandwidth. The energy associated with each of the observed 26 harmonic beams was found to be approximately 1 nJ, yielding a conversion efficiency of approximately 2e−7.
School:Brigham Young University
School Location:USA - Utah
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:high order harmonics filamentation self focusing lasers conversion efficiency spectrum apertured beam
Date of Publication:03/31/2006