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Search for stable propagation of intense femtosecond laser pulses in gas

  • A. Giulietti (a1), M. Galimberti (a1), A. Gamucci (a1), D. Giulietti (a1) (a2), L.A. Gizzi (a1), P. Koester (a1), L. Labate (a1), P. Tomassini (a1), T. Ceccotti (a3), P. D'Oliveira (a3), T. Auguste (a3), P. Monot (a3) and P. Martin (a3)...

We report and discuss experimental results on the propagation of CPA pulses of moderately relativistic intensity in gas: they evidence the effects of the precursor pedestals of the main pulse. Details of great interest were observed for the first time with high quality femtosecond 90-degree interferometry. The interferometric data are also correlated with imaging and spectroscopy data of laser pulse transmitted through the gas. The most relevant physical features are confirmed by a numerical code which simulates the laser pulse propagation self-consistently with the ionization of the gas. We found that in this regime, the propagation of the intense femtosecond pulse is basically stable apart from very weak refractive effects. In order to allow propagation at fixed intensity along an optical path larger than the Rayleigh range, we performed a first successful attempt at producing hollow plasma channels able to guide the pulse.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint request to: A. Giulietti, Intense Laser Laboratory, IPCF-CNR, Pisa, Italy. E-mail:
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Laser and Particle Beams
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