Abstract

By performing numerical studies, we show that during the propagation of femtosecond laser pulses with a microlens array (MLA) in air, the overall nonlinear length of multiple filamentation (MF) with an earlier onset can be prolonged almost twice as much as that generated in the case of a single lens. The elongation mainly results from the interaction of the regular filaments whose positions correspond to those of the lenslets. An enhancement of supercontinuum (SC) is also observed with different ratios as a function of wavelength. More efficient enhancement on the blue side of the spectrum can be obtained by increasing the numerical aperture of the lenslets, but at the cost of shortening the overall nonlinear propagation of the laser pulse. This process is strongly influenced by the spatiotemporal dynamics of the laser pulse. The MLA offers a new way to control the filamentation and SC emission for long-distance applications of femtosecond lasers.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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