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Increasing lifetime of the plasma channel formed in air using picosecond and nanosecond laser pulses

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5 Author(s)
Narayanan, V. ; Department of Physics and Centre for Laser Technology, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur-208016, India ; Singh, V. ; Pandey, Pramod K. ; Shukla, Neeraj
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We report experiments on a pump-probe configuration to elucidate the formation of a plasma channel by the hydrodynamic evolution of air breakdown in laser focus. A stable air breakdown was produced by focusing a picosecond laser pulse to create a shock driven plasma channel in the laser focus for propagating a nanosecond pulse. A four fold increase in the lifetime of the channel estimated by monitoring the temporal evolution of the fluorescence of a spectral line at 504.5 nm of N+ transition 3p 3S-3s 3P0 is reported. Assuming plasma in local thermal equilibrium plasma temperature of ∼8.2 eV and an electron density of ∼1.4×1018 cm-3 were determined using a Stark broadening of 649.2 nm line of NII transition 3d 3D0-4p3D in the channel. An enhancement in the electron density of the plasma channel was observed at the 7 ns delay of the nanosecond laser pulse relative to the picosecond laser pulse.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:101 ,  Issue: 7 )

Date of Publication:

Apr 2007

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