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Proceedings Paper

Preionizing a large volume, transversely excited, sub-atmospheric, pulsed CO2 laser for enhanced materials processing
Author(s): Ian Alistair Watson; Donald W. McDonald; Brian F. Scott; Christopher R. Chatwin
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Paper Abstract

Two methods of exciting a trigger wire double discharge electrode system are investigated for the generation of high repetition frequency pulsed discharges in a sub-atmospheric, transversely excited carbon-dioxide laser. Specifically, a 10 microsecond pulse forming network excited, 2 liter, transverse discharge was initiated by a corona discharge generated from trigger wires placed above a planar cathode. The discharge was pumped at pulse repetition frequencies up to 10 kHz and input pulse energies of 10 J. Two electrical systems for exciting the auxiliary preionizing discharge are considered viz. direct capacitive coupling from the anode voltage and separate high voltage pulse excitation. The laser itself was designed to improve materials processing capabilities of carbon-dioxide lasers. This followed from a detailed theoretical analysis of the laser-material interaction process and it was concluded that pulse repetition frequencies of about 5 - 10 kHz were needed with optical pulse lengths of 6 - 8 microseconds and plateau powers of between 20 - 150 kW. A stable single pass resonator was installed and used to assess the performance of both discharge initiation circuits by measuring the laser output pulse energy with a photon drag monitor. For the separately excited preionizer, the delay time between the preionizing pulse and the main discharge pulse was optimized by maximizing the laser output pulse energy as a function of the delay time. The discharge was modelled using SPICE to investigate the effects of the preionizing electron density on the discharge voltage and current.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 April 1997
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 3092, XI International Symposium on Gas Flow and Chemical Lasers and High-Power Laser Conference, (4 April 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.270220
Show Author Affiliations
Ian Alistair Watson, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
Donald W. McDonald, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
Brian F. Scott, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
Christopher R. Chatwin, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3092:
XI International Symposium on Gas Flow and Chemical Lasers and High-Power Laser Conference
Denis R. Hall; Howard J. Baker, Editor(s)

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