Abstract

Acoustic shock waves (ASWs) in the frequency range of 30–120 kHz generated during laser-induced breakdown (LIB) of ambient air using 7 ns and 30 ps pulse durations are studied. The specific frequency range and peak amplitudes are observed to be different for nanosecond (ns) and picosecond (ps) LIB. The ASW frequencies for ps-LIB lie between 90 and 120 kHz with one dominant peak, whereas for ns-LIB, two dominant peaks with frequencies in the 30–70 kHz and 80–120 kHz range are observed. These frequencies are observed to be laser pulse intensity dependent. With increasing energy of ns laser pulses, acoustic frequencies move toward the audible frequency range. The variation in the acoustic parameters, such as peak-to-peak pressures, signal energy, frequency and acoustic pulse widths as a function of laser energy, for two different pulse durations are presented in detail and compared. The acoustic emissions are observed to be higher for ns-LIB than ps-LIB, indicating higher conversion efficiency of optical energy into mechanical energy.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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