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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 May 7;92(18):187401. Epub 2004 May 6.

Unified model for the free-electron avalanche in laser-irradiated dielectrics.

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  • 1Institut für Experimentelle Physik, Universität Duisburg-Essen, D-45117 Essen, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Phys Rev Lett. 2004 May 21;92(20):209901.


We develop a model describing the free-electron generation in transparent solids under high-intensity laser irradiation. The multiple rate equation model unifies key points of detailed kinetic approaches and simple rate equations to a widely applicable description, valid on a broad range of time scales. It follows the nonstationary energy distribution of electrons on ultrashort time scales as well as the transition to the asymptotic avalanche regime for longer irradiations. The role of photoionization and impact ionization is clarified in dependence on laser pulse duration and intensity.

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