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  • 2013 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics - International Quantum Electronics Conference
  • (Optica Publishing Group, 2013),
  • paper CD_P_16

Guiding of meter scale AC discharges by laser filamentation in air

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During propagation of intense laser pulses through atmosphere, owing to a dynamic competition between Kerr self-focusing, diffraction and ionization induced defocusing, a contracted beam of high peak intensity can be formed over long distances, provided the pulse input power exceeds a critical value (Pc ~ 5 GW at 800 nm). During this process called filamentation [1], the pulse leaves in its wake a thin column of weakly ionized plasma (electron density ~ 1016 cm−3). Plasma filaments proved to be particularly useful for remote manipulation of high voltage discharges [2-5] and are of great interest for applications such as the laser lightning rod, virtual plasma antennas for radiofrequency transmission, plasma aerodynamic control or high voltage switch.

© 2013 IEEE

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