, Volume 79, Issue 7, pp 1657-1661
Date: 23 Jun 2004

Ultra-short pulse laser interaction with transparent dielectrics

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The interaction of intense, ultra-short laser pulses (USLP) with a surface of transparent dielectrics is considered. The combination of multi-photon absorption and impact ionization generates a plasma layer at the dielectric boundary. Interaction with the plasma self-consistently determines the amount of reflected, transmitted and absorbed light, and the spatial distribution of electron density. In the present paper, we model the interaction of USLP with transparent dielectrics. We calculate the evolution of electron density profiles and the variation of reflection, transmission and absorption of laser radiation during the pulse. We show that the laser-created surface plasma acts as a filter transmitting only the leading edge of the laser pulse. The transmitted energy is approximately fixed, nearly independent of input pulse energy. The transmitted energy increases with pulse duration. This increased energy is manifested in the formation of cylindrical shock waves directly applicable to recent experiments investigating absorption and shock generation in water.


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