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Proceedings Paper

Optically pumped rare gas lasers
Author(s): J. Han; C. R. Sanderson; B. Hokr; C. W. Ballmann; A. B. Clark; M. C. Heaven
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Paper Abstract

There have been concerted efforts to develop high-energy diode-pumped alkali vapor lasers (DPAL). These hybrid gas phase / solid-state laser systems offer possibilities for constructing high-powered lasers that have high beam quality. Considerable progress has been made, but there are technical challenges associated with the reactivity of the metal atoms. Rare gas atoms (Rg) excited to the np5 (n+1)s 3P2 configuration are metastable and have spectral properties that are closely similar to those of the alkali metals. Optically pumped lasers have been constructed using excitation of the np5 (n+1)p ← np5 (n+1)s transitions. Pulsed lasing has been observed for Ne*, Ar*, Kr* and Xe*. Helium was used as the collisional energy transfer agent that established population inversions. These systems have the advantage using inert reagents that are gases at room temperature, with excellent potential for closed-cycle, multi-wavelength operation. The primary technical difficulty for the rare gas laser is the discharge production of sufficient Rg* metastables in the presence of >200 Torr of He. We have developed a high frequency pulsed discharge that yields >1013 cm-3 Ar* in the presence of He at pressures up to 730 Torr. Using this discharge, a diode pumped Ar* laser providing 4.1 W of continuous wave output has been demonstrated, with an optical conversion efficiency of 31%. Development of the pulsed discharge system and CW lasing demonstrations with Xe* are reported.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 January 2019
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 11042, XXII International Symposium on High Power Laser Systems and Applications, 1104202 (3 January 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2522346
Show Author Affiliations
J. Han, Emory Univ. (United States)
C. R. Sanderson, The Univ. of Alabama (United States)
B. Hokr, Radiance Technologies (United States)
C. W. Ballmann, The Univ. of Alabama (United States)
A. B. Clark, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (United States)
M. C. Heaven, Emory Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11042:
XXII International Symposium on High Power Laser Systems and Applications
Paolo Di Lazzaro, Editor(s)

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