Influence of pressure on spectral broadening of femtosecond laser pulses in air

Physics of Plasmas, Volume 28, Issue 4, April 2021. Spectral broadening is an important nonlinear effect during the interaction of intense femtosecond laser pulses with air. In this paper, we experimentally study the dependence of spectral broadening on pressure and pulse energy. It is found that increasing both pressure and pulse energy can enhance the spectral intensity, while only increasing pressure leads to obvious blue shift of spectra, and the pulse energy has little effect on it. To get a better insight of the mechanism of spectral broadening, the numerical simulation relating the instantaneous frequency to the time dependent pulse intensity and time dependent plasma density in air is carried out. The results indicate that the plasma generation induced self-phase modulation which is related to the pressure plays an important role in blue shift of spectrum. Besides the transmission of the laser pulse is measured and decreases with pressure. It proves that the energy transfer of the laser pulse is promoted by pressure. This study will be helpful to understand a deeper physical mechanism of femtosecond filament induced supercontinnum generation in air.