High Power CO2 Lasers
Until very recently, the study of high energy laser interaction and related plasma phenomena has been done almost exclusively with solid state lasers. For many years, CO2 gas lasers have been recognized as the highest average power sources and their efficiency is considerably higher than for solid state lasers. However, until the TEA laser was developed, the very high peak powers required for plasma interaction studies were not considered possible with gas lasers because of the very low density of laser molecules compared to solid state lasers. The atmospheric pressure operation of CO2 lasers which was pioneered at the Defence Research Establishment Valcartier has changed this situation and the ease with which gas lasers can be increased in size indicates that gas lasers may be the best high energy sources of the future.
KeywordsSolid State Laser High Peak Power Giant Pulse Maximum Energy Density Uniform Discharge
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