Saturated-Absorption-Stabilized N2O Laser for New Frequency Standards
The N2O laser operates in approximately the same spectral region, around 10.6 μm, as the well-known CO2 laser. The two molecules resemble each other in being linear triatomic and having roughly the same energy levels. One would expect therefore that the technique of observing the standing-wave saturation in CO2 lasers via the fluorescence (1) could be applied to the N20 laser. Such is indeed the case. The 4.5 pm fluorescence from room temperature N2O in an absorber cell placed in the laser cavity has been observed and has a strength comparable to that of the 4.3 pm CO2 fluorescence. Because the centre frequencies of the N2O laser transitions can be determined to within 1 part in 1010 by this technique, and because there are twice as many N2O lasing transitions in the 0001-1000 band, compared to CO2 case, the N2O laser should be useful as a secondary frequency standard in the 10 pm region. It is the purpose of this paper to study some of the characteristics of a Lamb-dip stabilized N2O laser which has been used for absolute frequency measurements of N2O laser transitions.
KeywordsNickel Microwave Tungsten Carbon Monoxide Sapphire
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