Numerical study of spatial propagation dynamics and energy delivery of TW square-aperture CO2 laser pulses in the atmosphere

Paris Panagiotopoulos, Miroslav Kolesik, Victor Hasson, Sergei Tochitsky, Jerome V. Moloney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We numerically study the linear and nonlinear spatial propagation dynamics of multi-Joule 10.6 µm square beams in the atmosphere for various square obscuration locations. We show that the spatial reshaping process of these square frame shaped beams, a process normally driven by strong linear diffraction, can be significantly altered in the nonlinear regime. Depending on the input power, linear dynamics can be mostly preserved or overpowered by the optical Kerr effect, leading to the formation of single or multi-filament patterns, at propagation distances of a few tens of meters in the atmosphere. Optimal power delivery downstream is dependent on the location of the square obscuration and overall input power. Our results offer significant insight into ongoing efforts of high peak power CO2 mid-IR lasers generated in unstable resonators for atmospheric applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1214-1221
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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