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Proceedings Paper

Multikilowatt TEA-CO2 laser system for molecular laser isotope separation
Author(s): Einar Ronander; Erich G. Rohwer
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Paper Abstract

Laser-induced chemistry has received much attention in the past few years. The economics of such applications are dominated by the costs of photons and the quantum yield of the specific reaction. For a typical multiple-IR-photon process the quantum yield can be as low as 10-4 which emphasizes the importance of reducing the cost of laser photons. Based on 1982 technology, CO2 TEA laser operating costs were approximately $100/watt per year for a laser with an electrical efficiency of 6% and an average power of more than 100 kW. Capital costs dominated the energy cost as well as the maintenance and labor costs. At the South African Atomic Energy Corp. we have been involved in the development of high pulse frequency, high average power TEA-CO2 lasers for the application in the field of laser-induced chemistry. Much of the attention, however, has been focused on the application to separate the isotopes of uranium via a multiwavelength infrared irradiation scheme. The progress that has been made towards the establishment of CO2-lasers and laser chains for industrial use has been quite outstanding.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 1993
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 1810, 9th International Symposium on Gas Flow and Chemical Lasers, (4 May 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.144664
Show Author Affiliations
Einar Ronander, Atomic Energy Corp. (South Africa)
Erich G. Rohwer, Univ. of Stellenbosch (South Africa)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1810:
9th International Symposium on Gas Flow and Chemical Lasers

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