Filament-induced ablation represents an attractive scheme for long-range material identification via optical spectroscopy. However, the delivery of laser energy to the target can be severely hindered by the stochastic nature of multiple-filamentation, ionization of ambient gas, and atmospheric turbulence. In order to mitigate some of these adverse effects, we examine the utility of beam shaping for femtosecond filament-induced breakdown spectroscopy with Gaussian and structured (Laguerre-Gaussian, Airy, and Bessel-Gaussian) beams in the nonlinear regime. Interaction of filaments with copper, zinc, and brass targets was studied by recording axially-resolved broadband emission from the filament-induced plasma. The laser-solid coupling efficacy was assessed by inferring thermodynamic parameters such as excitation temperature and electron density. While under our experimental conditions the ablation rate with Gaussian- and Laguerre-Gaussian beams is found to be similar, the Airy and Bessel-Gaussian beams offer the advantage of longitudinally extended working zones. These results provide insights into potential benefits of structuring ultrafast laser beams for standoff sensing applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics