Laser-Triggered Dynamic Breakdown of Gases and Laser-Induced Prebreakdown Signals

Noemy Yackerson, N. S. Kopeika

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Dynamic breakdown of Ne and Ar gases biased to the pre- breakdown stage, with and without absorption of very short duration iucident N2 laser pulses, is studied. Effects of bias and incident laser intensity are seen to be complementary. Laser illumination of the interelectrode gap causes gas breakdown at the cathode to take place at a faster rate and at lower breakdown threshold bias than without the illumination. Breakdown pulse shape varies according to gas composition and bias, and is much different from simple nonbreakdown “pre-breakdown” responses to the laser pulses. The prebrealidown signals are attributed to photon-enhanced ionization in the focal volume between the electrodes, while the laser-triggered breakdown pulses are attributed to photon-enhanced excitation and diffusion of such neutral atoms to the high field gradient region near the cathode, where cascade ionization collisional effects are amplified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1964-1972
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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