Scientific article
Open access

Ultrafast gaseous "half-wave plate"

Published inOptics express, vol. 16, no. 10, 7564
Publication date2008

We demonstrate that filaments generated by ultrashort laser pulses can induce a remarkably large birefringence in Argon over its whole length, resulting in an ultrafast “half-wave plate” for a copropagating probe beam. This birefringence originates from the difference between the nonlinear refractive indices induced by the filament on the axes parallel and orthogonal to its polarization. An angle of 45° between the filament and the probe polarizations allows the realization of ultrafast Kerr-gates, with a switching time ultimately limited by the duration of the filamenting pulse.

  • Ultrafast lasers
  • Ultrafast nonlinear optics
  • Birefringence
  • Kerr effect
  • Self-action effects
Citation (ISO format)
BEJOT, Pierre Olivier et al. Ultrafast gaseous ‘half-wave plate’. In: Optics express, 2008, vol. 16, n° 10, p. 7564. doi: 10.1364/OE.16.007564
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1094-4087

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