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A plurality of gas jet nozzles having equal angular separation around a central axis eject gas flows towards the central axis. The gas flows collide and form a gas channel from the neutral gas, the gas channel having a gas density depression at the center of the intersecting gas flow, where the gas density depression is surrounded by a higher density gaseous wall along the central axis. Ionization of the gas in the center produces a plasma channel that can guide a laser pulse fired into the gas along the central axis. The geometric arrangement of the gas jets and/or the backing pressure of the gas flows are configured to produce a gas channel having a predetermined density profile such that the ionized gas forms a plasma channel laser guiding structure configured to guide a laser pulse having predetermined spatial parameters.