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Phys Rev Lett. 2001 Nov 19;87(21):213902. Epub 2001 Nov 2.

Self-guided propagation of ultrashort IR laser pulses in fused silica.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Optique Appliquée, CNRS UMR 7639, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées-Ecole Polytechnique, Chemin de la Hunière, F-91761 Palaiseau Cedex, France. stzortz@enstay


We report self-guided propagation of ultrashort IR laser pulses in fused silica over several Rayleigh lengths. Self-guiding is accompanied by pulse splitting and time compression. Numerical simulations involving pulse self-focusing, temporal dispersion, and multiphoton ionization are found to be in good agreement with the experimental results. They show that a quasidynamic equilibrium between multiphoton ionization and self-focusing drives the filamentation process, while temporal dispersion plays a negligible role.

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