High Power Optically Pumped Mid-Infrared Molecular Gas Lasers
The search for efficient and powerful sources of coherent radiation in the mid-infrared (MIR) spectral region of 5–20 µm has in the last few years been particularly motivated by the need of these sources for laser photo-chemical reactions, an important one of which is selective multiple photon dissociation of uranium hexaflouride. Of the various schemes optical pumping of molecular gases1–4 has proven the most successful approach providing an efficient, non-destructable and simple method for infra-red generation adaptable to a large variety of molecules and therefore particularly useful in the search for new MIR laser emissions. Based on the resonant excitation of vibrational rotational transitions, for which moderately high gains of 10−2 to 10−1 cm−1 may be readily obtained, many emissions in the spectral region have already been obtained (see fig. 1) with powers in favourable cases being in excess of 1 MW and photon conversion efficiencies approaching 100%.
KeywordsQuantum Electron Difference Band Collisional Energy Transfer Vibrational Rotational Transition Rate Equation Approach
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