HV discharge acceleration by sequences of UV laser filaments with visible and near-infrared pulses


We investigate the triggering and guiding ofDChigh-voltage discharges over a distance of 37 cm by filaments produced by ultraviolet (266 nm) laser pulses of 200 ps duration. The latter reduce the breakdown electric field by half and allow up to 80% discharge probability in an electric field of 920 kVm(-1). This high efficiency is not further increased by adding nanosecond pulses in the Joule range at 532 and at 1064 nm. However, the latter statistically increases the guiding length, thereby accelerating the discharge by a factor of 2. This effect is due both to photodetachment and to the heating of the plasma channel, that increases the efficiency of avalanche ionization and reduces electron attachment and recombination.

New Journal of Physics, 19 page 123040