Analysis of optodynamic sources generated during laser-induced breakdown in water.
ABSTRACT We propose a method for evaluating the size of the laser-induced breakdown region in water based on the detection and analysis of optodynamic waves. The breakdown region is an optodynamic source of pressure waves that propagate into the surrounding liquid as an ultrasonic pulse. In the experiment the optical breakdown was generated by a standard ophthalmic Nd:YAG laser with a pulse duration of 10 ns and a maximum energy per pulse of 10 mJ. The pulses were detected inside the liquid with a laser-beam deflection probe. The waveforms were captured in the far-field and analyzed. The analysis provides information about the apparent size of the optodynamic source, which is directly related to the size of the breakdown region. The proposed method can be adapted for online monitoring.