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Opt Lett. 2003 Feb 1;28(3):206-8.

Plasma formation dynamics within a water microdroplet on femtosecond time scales.

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Laboratoire de Spectrométrie Ionique et Moléculaire (LASIM) (Unité Mixte de Recherche 5579), Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 43 Boulevard du 11 Novembre 1918, F-69622 Villeurbanne, France.


We demonstrate that a highly confined plasma inclusion is formed inside a micrometric water droplet that is excited by a femtosecond laser. An 800-nm laser pulse generates a plasma inclusion by laser-induced breakdown that is subsequently probed by the elastic scattering of a second (400-nm) time-delayed ultrashort pulse. For a 25-microm-radius droplet and an incident intensity of 7 x 10(12) W/cm2 the radius of the highly localized plasma is 1.9 +/- 0.4 microm. We probed the plasma formation dynamics on femtosecond time scales by varying the delay between the pump and the probe pulses. Good agreement with numerical simulations of the process was found.


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