HIGH POWER GAS LASER RESEARCH.
Final technical rept., 15 Jun 65-14 Mar 66.
RAYTHEON CO WALTHAM MASS RESEARCH DIV
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The report discusses the investigation and optimization of a high-power high-efficiency CW gas laser utilizing a dc discharge excited, flowing mixture of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and helium as the active laser medium. Continuous laser powers of 50 to 60 watts per meter length of active medium were obtained in well-collimated beams at various wavelengths in the neighborhood of 10.6 microns with an efficiency of more than 10 percent. The work involved optimization via variation of the parameters, i.e., gas flow rates, partial pressures of component, discharge current, optical coupling, additives, etc., as well as studies of 1 optical materials suitable for 10 microns radiation of the relative merits of various optical coupling schemes 2 the variations of single pass gain with the parameters 3 the role of electrochemical effects 4 the lifetimes of the laser level via direct afterglow investigation 5 spectroscopy in both the visible and the infrared, and 6 Q-spoiling. A detailed picture of the operating principles of the CO2 laser is presented along with estimates of the ultimate powers several watts per cc of active medium and efficiencies 20 to 40 obtainable and an indication of those aspects that are least understood and deserving of future effort. Author
- Lasers and Masers