Abstract

Electrical conductive properties of femtosecond laser filaments are of significant interest for applications such as remote arc suppression and discharge guiding. We transmitted electrical current through a DC-biased air plasma channel formed in the wake of an energetic femtosecond laser pulse and observed an increased rate of change of the charge transmitted through the ionized channel with laser energy when crossing from the single- to multi-filament regimes. This behavior is attributed to the confluent effects of greater electron density and an increased cross-sectional area of the multi-filament plasma structures. As the laser energy is increased, the formation of additional conductive channels in the multi-filamentation regime becomes a significant contributor to the rapid increase of conductivity. These observations suggest a potential path to attractive applications such as efficient energy transfer in air mediated by femtosecond laser-produced filaments.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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