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 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.
Improved laser triggering and guiding of meqavolt discharges with dual fs-ns pulses
Guillaume Méjean, Roland Ackermann, Jérôme Kasparian, Estelle Salmon, Jin Yu, Jean-Pierre Wolf, Kay Rethmeier, Wilfried Kalkner, Philipp Rohwetter, Kamil Stelmaszczyk, Ludger Wöste; Improved laser triggering and guiding of meqavolt discharges with dual fs-ns pulses. Appl. Phys. Lett. 9 January 2006; 88 (2): 021101. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2162430
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