The propagation of high intensity laser beams is excessively affected by optical nonlinear effects, thereby the knowledge of the nonlinear refractive indices of the beam guiding media is indispensable in the design of laser systems and experiments. Apart from undesired self-focusing, several areas of modern laser spectroscopy can utilize optical nonlinearity, from LiDAR measurements to filamentation. In this paper we report on a direct measurement of pressure dependent nonlinear refractive index of Ar, N2, Ne, Xe, and air between 0.05 mbar and 1 bar, based on the powerful technique called spectrally and spatially resolved interferometry. In this way the total value of nonlinear refractive index is measured, that is the sum of all elementary phenomena contributing to the intensity dependent refractivity of the gases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics