Abstract

The spectral, temporal, and spatial characteristics of plasma-induced spectral blue shifting in atmospheric-density rare gases were investigated by a two-color pump–probe technique. When the degree of ionization is less than 1, experiments and theoretical results show that field ionization occurs over a time approximately equal to half the pump-pulse width and that ionization-induced defocusing causes spectral blue shifting to be spatially dependent. The pulse width of a 147-nm pulse generated by four-wave mixing of a femtosecond KrF laser pulse in xenon was determined to be 400 fs by a cross-correlation technique based on plasma defocusing.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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