Recent experiments on optical damage by ultrashort laser pulses have demonstrated that the temporal pulseshape can dramatically influence plasma generation in fused silica and sapphire. In this work a modified 3+1D nonlinear Schroedinger equation for the pulse propagation coupled to a rate equation for the plasma density in the dielectric material is used to simulate pulse propagation and plasma formation in a range of dielectric materials. We use these simulations to analyze the influence of pulse-width, pulse-shape and beam geometry on the formation of the electron plasma and hence damage in the bulk material. In particular, when possible, we simulate the effect of pulses reconstructed from experimental data. It is expected that a better understanding of the dynamics of laser-induced plasma generation will enable the accurate simulation of optical damage in a variety of dielectrics, ultimately leading to an enhanced control of optical damage to real materials and optical devices.
- Optical components,
- Optical damage,
- Plasma generation,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jeremy_gulley/7/