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Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Jul 24;103(4):043901. Epub 2009 Jul 20.

Intensity spikes in laser filamentation: diagnostics and application.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803-4001, USA.


We present calculations with subcycle precision of laser-driven filamentation in argon which show that the laser peak intensity can exceed the clamping intensity by a factor of 3 during recurring spikes which can last over several centimeters of propagation. The high intensity occurs during a few-femtosecond subpulse in the trailing edge of the main pulse and gives rise to isolated 500 attosecond, 2 pJ pulses which can be extracted from the filament. We also show that the high harmonic radiation emerging from the filament is an excellent diagnostic of the intensity spikes.

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