Collinear dual-pulse laser optical breakdown and energy deposition

Andrea Alberti, Alessandro Munafò, Carlos Pantano, Jonathan B. Freund, Marco Panesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A non-equilibrium model for laser-generated plasmas is used to represent collinear dual nano-second-pulse interactions. In the specific case considered, the breakdown is initiated with an ultraviolet (UV) laser pulse at 266 nm, which pre-ionizes the gas, and it is followed by a near-infrared (NIR) pulse at 1064 nm, which deposits significant energy into the ionized mixture. The model is validated against corresponding experiments, and simulation results are interrogated to understand key features of the plasma-kernel dynamics and the post-discharge hydrodynamics. The hydrodynamics of the non-equilibrium plasma is governed by the two-Temperature Navier-Stokes equations accounting for both multiphoton ionization and inverse bremsstrahlung. The interaction between the laser beam and the plasma is modeled based on the radiative transfer equation. The temporal and spatial offsets of the two pulses can generate ionization kernels with different topology and dynamics. It is shown that the UV pre-ionization pulse can tailor the plasma region, leading to a larger ionized volume than would occur for a single-pulse breakdown, and it increases the efficiency of the energy deposition for the following NIR discharge. Vorticity in the early post-discharge phase is generated via baroclinic torque from the misalignment of the radial gradient of density (sudden gas expansion) and the strong pressure gradient (initiated by energy deposition from the laser beam). It is predicted that the collinear dual pulse can be designed to specify the plasma kernel size, shape, and maximum temperature in the breakdown phase, and the initial post-breakdown vorticity and plasma-core decay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number205202
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 13 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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