POPULATION INVERSION AND LASER OSCILLATION IN ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR GASES.
TEXAS UNIV AT AUSTIN LABS FOR ELECTRONICS AND RELATED SCIENCE RESEARCH
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The possibility of obtaining a new class of laser oscillation in the electronic spectra of gaseous molecular ions is investigated. The Franck-Condon principle is used to explain the selective excitation leading to population inversion and laser action for several known molecular neutral laser transitions in nitrogen and carbon monoxide. Based on its usefulness in explaining known molecular neutral laser action, the Franck-Condon principle is employed as a guide in determining which molecular ion transitions should exhibit a population inversion in a gaseous discharge. This approach is shown to indicate that the CO Baldet-Johnson electronic band system is the most likely laser candidate of the seven known transitions in both N2 and CO. An experimental search for this new class of laser oscillation in the electronic spectra of N2 and CO is described. Various rare gas mixtures are used with the prospect of obtaining selective excitation of certain N2 and CO levels. The conventional, coaxial, and crossed-field laser discharge tube geometries are employed in this work.
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