Kinetics model of femtosecond laser ionization in nitrogen and comparison to experiment

Christopher J. Peters, Mikhail N. Shneider, Richard B. Miles

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A zero-dimensional kinetics simulation of femtosecond laser ionization in nitrogen is proposed that includes fast gas heating effects, electron scattering (elastic and inelastic) rate coefficients from BOLSIG+, and photoionization based on filamentation theory. Key rate coefficients possessing significant uncertainty are tuned (within the range of variation found in the literature) to reproduce the time-varying signal acquired by a bandpass-filtered photomultiplier tube with good agreement up to several hundred nanoseconds. Separate spectral measurements calibrate the relative strength of signal components. Derived equations relate the model to experimental measurements in absolute units. Reactions contributing to the rate of change of important species are displayed in terms of absolute rate and relative fraction. In general, decreasing the gas density lengthens the duration of early reactions and delays the start of later reactions. The model agrees with data taken in a variable temperature and pressure free jet by an intensified camera. Results demonstrate that initial signal depends primarily on gas density and secondarily on gas temperature. The initial signal is optimized (maximized) at subatmospheric conditions. Decreases in gas density alter the evolution of excited-state populations, postponing the peak (while reducing its value) and slowing the rate of decay. For the optimal case, populations are favorably shifted in time with respect to the gate delay (and width) to boost the signal. Reductions in gas temperature generally enhance initial signal due to elevated dissociative recombination of cluster ions (along with excited-state coupling from quenching and energy pooling).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number243301
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 28 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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