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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Mar 12;104(10):103903. Epub 2010 Mar 12.

Higher-order Kerr terms allow ionization-free filamentation in gases.

Author information

  • 1Université de Genève, GAP-Biophotonics, 20 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.

Abstract

We show that higher-order nonlinear indices (n(4), n(6), n(8), n(10)) provide the main defocusing contribution to self-channeling of ultrashort laser pulses in air and argon at 800 nm, in contrast with the previously accepted mechanism of filamentation where plasma was considered as the dominant defocusing process. Their consideration allows us to reproduce experimentally observed intensities and plasma densities in self-guided filaments.

PMID:
20366427
[PubMed]
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