Regular Article – Optical Phenomena and Photonics
Experimentally validated modeling of the optical energy deposition in highly ionized ambient air by strong femtosecond laser pulses
Audio and Acoustic Technology Group, Wire Communications Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Patras, 26500, Rio, Greece
2 Department of Electronic Engineering, Hellenic Mediterranean University, 73133, Chania, Greece
3 Institute of Plasma Physics and Lasers, Hellenic Mediterranean University, 74100, Tria Monastiria, Rethymnon, Greece
4 Physical Acoustics and Optoacoustics Laboratory, Department of Music Technology and Acoustics, Hellenic Mediterranean University, 74133, Perivolia, Rethymnon, Greece
Accepted: 19 July 2021
Published online: 30 August 2021
The deposition of femtosecond laser optical energy in gases leads to the emission of secondary electromagnetic and acoustic radiation. These optoacoustic components have a complex nonlinear dependency on the laser beam characteristics, such as the pulse energy, duration, wavelength and the focusing conditions, as well as on the optical and elastic characteristics of the gaseous medium. The initial interaction times are governed by the high electronic excitation and ionization. These phenomena result in a self-modulation of the laser pulse, significantly affecting the optical energy deposition on the medium. Such complex nonlinear phenomena are very difficult to be studied via analytical equations. To address this, a multiphysics Particle-In-Cell model is applied for the evaluation of the optical energy deposition and plasma generation from tightly focused femtosecond pulses in ambient air. The computational domain of the model is built to describe optical energy deposition in its full spatiotemporal scale. The model is validated by experimental results of the absorbed energy. The agreement between the computational and experimental results provides the basis for the future development of an advanced microstructural Finite Element Method model, which, combined with the Particle-In-Cell model, will have the ability of delivering detailed insights for all the sub-domains and timescales varying from nano- to femto-seconds of the laser-induced breakdown phenomenon.
© The Author(s) 2021
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