Role of plasma in femtosecond laser pulse propagation

Vladimir Mezentsev, Mykhaylo Dubov, Jovana S. Petrović, Ian Bennion, Jürgen Dreher, Rainer Grauer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


This paper describes physics of nonlinear ultra‐short laser pulse propagation affected by plasma created by the pulse itself. Major applications are also discussed. Nonlinear propagation of the femtosecond laser pulses in gaseous and solid transparent dielectric media is a fundamental physical phenomenon in a wide range of important applications such as laser lidars, laser micro‐machining (ablation) and microfabrication etc. These applications require very high intensity of the laser field, typically 1013–1015 TW/cm2. Such high intensity leads to significant ionisation and creation of electron‐ion or electron‐hole plasma. The presence of plasma results into significant multiphoton and plasma absorption and plasma defocusing. Consequently, the propagation effects appear extremely complex and result from competitive counteraction of the above listed effects and Kerr effect, diffraction and dispersion. The theoretical models used for consistent description of laser‐plasma interaction during femtosecond laser pulse propagation are derived and discussed. It turns out that the strongly nonlinear effects such self‐focusing followed by the pulse splitting are essential. These phenomena feature extremely complex dynamics of both the electromagnetic field and plasma density with different spatio‐temporal structures evolving at the same time. Some numerical approaches capable to handle all these complications are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe physics of ionized gases
Subtitle of host publication23rd Summer School and International Symposium on the Physics of Ionized Gases : Invited Lectures, Topical Invited Lectures and Progress Reports
EditorsLjupco Hadzievski, Bratislav P. Marinkovic, Nenad S. Simonovic
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-0-7354-0377-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006
Event23rd Summer School and International Symposium on the Physics of Ionized Gases - National Park Kopaonik, Serbia
Duration: 28 Aug 20061 Sept 2006

Publication series

NameAIP conference proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Conference23rd Summer School and International Symposium on the Physics of Ionized Gases
Abbreviated titleSPIG-2006
CityNational Park Kopaonik


  • plasma production by laser
  • plasma heating by laser
  • optical pulse generation
  • plasma collision processes
  • electron impact ionisation
  • self-focusing
  • femtosecond inscription
  • adaptive mesh refinement


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