Skip to main content

Filamentation of high-power ultrashort laser radiation: Size factor of a light beam


The single (axial) filamentation regime of high-power collimated femtosecond laser radiation in the atmosphere is theoretically investigated. The effect of initial diameter of a laser beam on characteristics of a filament is analyzed. We consider three filament parameters: the coordinate of the filament start, its length and longitudinal continuity. We found that for the same initial beam power all the above characteristics of the filaments show a dependence on the beam radius. As the main physical cause for this circumstance the diffraction interaction of various beam areas during the filamentation process is considered; the strength of this interaction increases as the beam widens.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Self-focusing: Past and Present, Ed. By Y.R. Shen, R.W. Boyd, and S.G. Lukishova (Springer, Berlin, 2009).

    Google Scholar 

  2. L. Berge, S. Skupin, R. Nuter, J. Kasparian, and J.-P. Wolf, “Ultrashort Filaments of Light in Weakly Ionized, Optically Transparent Media,” Rep. Prog. Phys. 70, 1633–1713 (2007).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. A. Couairon and A. Myzyrowicz, “Femtosecond Filamentation in Transparent Media,” Phys. Reports. 441(2–4), 47–189 (2007).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. V. P. Kandidov, S. A. Shlenov, and O. G. Kosareva, “Filamentation of High-Power Femtosecond Laser Radiation,” Quant. Electron. 39(3), 205–228 (2009).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Q. Luo, J. Yu, A. Hosseini, W. Liu, B. Ferland, G. Roy, and S. L. Chin, “Long-Range Detection and Length Estimation of Light Filaments Using Extra-Attenuation of Terawatt Femtosecond Laser Pulses Propagating in Air,” Appl. Opt. 44(3), 391–397 (2005).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. A. Couaron, “Filamentation Length of Powerful Laser Pulses,” App. Phys., B 76, 789–792 (2003).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. A. Brodeur, C. Y. Chien, F. A. Ilkov, S. L. Chin, O. G. Kosareva, and V. P. Kandidov, “Moving Focus in the Propagation of Ultrashort Laser Pulses in Air,” Opt. Lett. 22(5), 304–306 (1997).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Yu. E. Geints, A. A. Ionin, A. A. Zemlyanov, S. I. Kudryashov, L. V. Seleznev, D. V. Sinitsyn, and E. S. Sunchugasheva, “Features of Focused Propagation of Intense Femtosecond Laser Pulses in Air under Low Pressure,” Atmos. Ocean. Opt. 25(3), 185–192 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. V. Loriot, E. Hertz, O. Faucher, and B. Lavorel, “Measurement of High Order Kerr Refractive Index of Major Air Components,” Opt. Express. 17(16), 13429–13434 (2009).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. A. M. Perelomov, V. S. Popov, and M. V. Terent’ev, “Ionization of Atoms in AC Field,” Zh. Eksperim. Teor. Fiz. 50 (1966).

  11. A. A. Zemlyanov, A. D. Bulygin, and Yu. E. Geints, “Diffraction Optics of a Light Filament Generated during Self-Focusing of a Femtosecond Laser Pulse in Air,” Atmos. Ocean. Opt. 25(2), 97–105 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. W. Liu, Q. Luo, F. Theberge, H. L. Xu, S. A. Hosseini, S. M. Sarifi, and S. L. Chin, “The Influence of Divergence on the Filament Length during the Propagation of Intense Ultra-Short Laser Pulses,” App. Phys. 82(3), 373–376.

  13. Yu. E. Geints and A. A. Zemlyanov, “Influence of Spatial Focusing on the Characteristics of the Filamentation of Femtosecond Laser Radiation in the Air,” Atmos. Ocean. Opt. 23(4), 270–277 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. A. A. Zemlyanov and Yu. E. Geints, “Evolution of Effective Characteristics of Laser Beam of Femtosecond Duration upon Self-Action in a Gas Medium,” Opt. Spectrosc. 104(5), 772–783 (2008).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. J. H. Marburger, “Self-focusing: Theory,” Prog. Quantum. Electron. 4, 35–110 (1975).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. V. N. Vlasov, V. A. Petrishchev, and V. I. Talanov, “Average Description of Wave Beams in Linear and Nonlinear Media (the Method of Moments),” Radiophys. Quant. Electron. 14(9), 1062–1070 (1971).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Original Russian Text © Yu.E. Geints, A.A. Zemlyanov, 2013, published in Optica Atmosfery i Okeana.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Geints, Y.E., Zemlyanov, A.A. Filamentation of high-power ultrashort laser radiation: Size factor of a light beam. Atmos Ocean Opt 26, 357–363 (2013).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Beam Radius
  • Kerr Nonlinearity
  • Femtosecond Laser Radiation
  • Nonlinear Focus
  • Light Filament