Two-dimensional measurements of laser-induced breakdown in air by high-speed two-frame shadowgraphy

Gregorčič, Peter; Diaci, Janez; Možina, Janez
July 2013
Applied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing;Jul2013, Vol. 112 Issue 1, p49
Academic Journal
We present two-dimensional measurements of the laser-induced plasma development and shock wave evolution in air. The breakdown is induced by a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser ( λ=1064 nm) with a pulse duration of 4 ns. To study these fast laser-induced phenomena, we have developed a high-speed, two frame shadowgraph method. It enables 2D visualization of a laser-induced event in two time instances, which are delayed by an arbitrary time interval in the range from 300 ps to 30 ns. The established method is based on 30 ps, green ( λ=532 nm), and linearly polarized laser pulse, which is split into two orthogonally polarized illumination pulses for direct and delayed illumination of the breakdown area. Exploiting polarization of the probe pulses, we capture two temporally and spatially separated frames with two CCD cameras. Special attention is given to the subsequent data processing, especially to the minimization of the systematic error due to alignment of both images, and to the determination of 2D velocity distribution from the captured image pairs.


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