Ionization of air with intense laser pulses


        By applying ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulses

        and femtosecond-nanosecond pulse sequences, we create

        extended plasma channels in ambient air.

        Potential applications of these plasmas range from

        the remote initiation of transient lasing in the atmosphere

        to channeling lightning strikes.

        In this project we collaborate with the scientists

        from the Jupiter Laser Facility at the Lawrence Livermore

                                                                                    National Laboratory


 Intense laser beam engineering

                                                                                    We apply intense laser pulses with exotic beam

           shapes for the production of plasma channels and

           channel arrays in air. Self-bending Airy beams

           produce curved plasma channels while intense optical

           vortices generate bottle-like distributions of plasma

           channels that can be used for guiding

                                                                                     microwave radiation.



  Investigations of material modification with femtosecond laser pulses


        Physical processes involved in permanent material modification

        by ultra-short laser pulses are extremely complex and occur

        across vastly dissimilar time scales from femtoseconds

        to microseconds. Our research is aimed at the development

        of new predictive models describing the physics

        of femtosecond laser-matter interactions  and at the experimental 

                                                                     validation of these models. In this project we collaborate

                                                                     with the scientists from the Australian National University

                                                                     and from the Colorado School of Mines.