Effect of beam diameter on the propagation of intense femtosecond laser pulses
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This paper describes the effects observed during the propagation of intense femtosecond laser pulses in air following the modification of the laser beam diameter with a pair of convex–concave lenses placed/mounted in a telescopic configuration. We observed that by reducing the diameter of the beam the detected back-scattered nitrogen fluorescence from the filaments becomes more stable on a shot-to-shot basis while, for a larger beam size, greater fluctuations are observed that are not correlated to shot-to-shot fluctuations in the laser pulse energy. This result leads to a new method to control the fluorescence signal which can be very important in remote-sensing applications.
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