Non-equilibrium plasma generation via nano-second multi-mode laser pulses

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The formation and growth of plasma kernels generated via nano-second mode-beating laser pulses is investigated here via a non-equilibrium self-consistent computational model. Chemically reactive Navier-Stokes equations are used to describe the hydrodynamics, and non-equilibrium effects are taken into account with a two-temperature model. Inverse Bremsstrahlung and multiphoton ionization are included self-consistently in the model via a coupled solution of the plasma governing equations and the radiative transfer equation (that describes the laser beam propagation and attenuation). A self-consistent approach (despite carrying additional challenges) minimizes the empiricism and it allows for a more accurate description since it prevents both the utilization of artificial plasma seeds to trigger the breakdown and the implementation of tuning parameters to simulate the laser-energy deposition. The advantages of this approach are confirmed by the good agreement between the numerically predicted and the experimentally measured plasma boundary evolution and absorbed energy. This also holds true for the periodic plasma kernel structures that, as suggested by the experiments and confirmed by the simulations presented here, are connected to the modulating frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033102
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 21 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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