A comprehensive model is developed for focused pulse propagation in water. The model incorporates self-focusing, group velocity dispersion, and laser-induced breakdown in which an electron plasma is generated via cascade and multiphoton ionization processes. The laser-induced breakdown is studied first without considering self-focusing to give a breakdown threshold of the light intensity, which compares favorably with existing experimental results. The simple study also yields the threshold dependence on pulse duration and input spot size, thus providing a framework to view the results of numerical simulations of the full model. The simulations establish the breakdown threshold in input power and reveal qualitatively different behavior for pico-and femto-second pulses. For longer pulses, the cascade process provides the breakdown mechanism, while for shorter pulses the cooperation between the self-focusing and the multiphoton plasma generation dominates the breakdown threshold.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering