Temporal probing of an ultrafast plasma shutter driven by a KrF femtosecond laser system
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A femtosecond high-power KrF-laser system was used to create a rapidly ionizing plasma on a BK7 glass slide and the plasma formation was probed by a second laser pulse at 497 nm. During the formation of the plasma the electron density reaches the critical density for 497 nm. Therefore, the reflectivity of the surface rises from a value given by the Fresnel formulas to a value close to 100% and the transmission decreases on the same time scale. It is shown that this method permits a precise timing of two femtosecond laser pulses at different wavelengths.
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