The influence of the active-element characteristics on the efficiency of a cadmium-vapor laser pumped by uranium fission fragments was studied experimentally. The 441.6 nm laser radiation of the cadmium ion was studied. An aluminum tube with diameter ~15 mm and an inner coating of U3O8 with thickness 3 mg/cm2 served as the active element. The neutron source was the BARS-6 pulsed, fast, aperiodic, self-extinguishing reactor. A comparison of the efficiency of the laser with similar data previously obtained under the same conditions for a 48 mm in diameter active element with a ~10 mg/cm2 thick uranium metal coating shows that a three-fold reduction of the diameter of the active element and uranium coating thickness results in a 2.5-fold increase of the laser efficiency. This confirms the hypothesis of internal losses of laser radiation in the active element of a fission-fragment pumped laser which are due to the scattering of light by transverse sound waves of the gas density which appear during a pumping pulse because of the radial non-uniformity of the energy input.
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Translated from Atomnaya Énergiya, Vol. 127, No. 3, pp. 166–171, September, 2019.
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Denezhkin, I.A., D’yachenko, P.P. & Stepanov, S.P. Characteristics of the Active Element of a Nuclear-Pumped Cadmium-Vapor Laser. At Energy 127, 186–191 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10512-020-00608-4