Lasing of ambient air with microjoule pulse energy pumped by a multi terawatt IR femtosecond laser

Abstract : We report on the lasing action of atmospheric air pumped by an 800 nm femtosecond laser pulse with peak power up to 4 TW. Lasing emission at 428 nm increases rapidly over a small range of pump laser power, followed by saturation above ∼1.5  TW. The maximum lasing pulse energy is measured at 2.6 μJ corresponding to an emission power in the MW range, while a maximum conversion efficiency of 3.5×10−5 is measured at moderate pump pulse energy. The optical gain inside the filament plasma is estimated to be in excess of 0.7/cm. Lasing emission shows a doughnut profile, reflecting the spatial distribution of the pump-generated white-light continuum that acts as a seed for the lasing. We attribute the pronounced saturation to the defocusing of the seed in the plasma amplifying region and to the saturation of the seed intensity.
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Optics Letters, Optical Society of America, 2014, 39, pp.1725. 〈http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?uri=ol-39-7-1725〉. 〈10.1364/OL.39.001725〉
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Guillaume Point, Yi Liu, Yohann Brelet, Sergey Mitryukovskiy, Pengji Ding, et al.. Lasing of ambient air with microjoule pulse energy pumped by a multi terawatt IR femtosecond laser. Optics Letters, Optical Society of America, 2014, 39, pp.1725. 〈http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?uri=ol-39-7-1725〉. 〈10.1364/OL.39.001725〉. 〈hal-01118170〉

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