Linearity of charge measurement in laser filaments


We evaluate the linearity of three electric measurement techniques of the initial electron density in laser filaments by comparing their results for a pair of filaments and for the sum of each individual filament. The conductivity measured between two plane electrodes in a longitudinal configuration is linear within 2% provided the electric field is kept below 100 kV/m. Furthermore, simulations show that the signal behaves like the amount of generated free electrons. The slow ionic current measured with plane electrodes in a parallel configuration is representative of the ionic charge available in the filament, after several mu s, when the free electrons have recombined. It is linear within 2% with the amount of ions and is insensitive to misalignment. Finally, the fast polarization signal in the same configuration deviates from linearity by up to 80% and can only be considered as a semi-qualitative indication of the presence of charges, e.g., to characterize the filament length. (C) 2017 Optical Society of America

Optics Express, 25(14) page 16517–16526