We demonstrate that the capacity of ultrashort high-power laser pulses to trigger and guide high-voltage discharges can be significantly enhanced by a subsequent visible nanosecond laser pulse. The femtosecond pulse induces a bundle of filaments, which creates a conducting channel of low density and cold plasma connecting the electrodes. The subsequent laser pulse photodetaches electrons from O2 ions in the electrode leader. The resulting electrons allow efficient heating by Joule effect in a retroaction loop, resulting in a 5% reduction of the breakdown voltage.

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