Unidirectional Composites as Electrodes/Preionization Sources for CO2 TEA Lasers.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Transverse Excited Atmospheric TEA CO2 lasers offer improvements over low pressure CO2 lasers, but efficient operation at atmospheric pressure is often difficult to achieve. The purpose of this research was to examine the feasibility of using unidirectional oxide metal composites grown at the Georgia Institute of Technology to obviate the problems of high pressure CO2 laser operation. The research was divided into two areas. In the first, Gd2O3-Ce2O3-Mo and UO2-W composites were examined for use directly as electrodes in CO2 lasers. Using discharge apparatus similar to that used for CO2 lasers, the discharge characteristics from polished and exposed pin composite electrodes were examined. The results of the cathode fall tests indicated that cathode fall for every composite electrode tested was higher than for the aluminum standard. No significant advantage with the composite electrodes at high pressure was observed. In the second phase of the research, low voltage field emitters LVFE were examined as a preionization source for the discharge. These emitters were prepared using thin film techniques from the UO2-W composites. In this phase, field emission at atmospheric pressure, the control of a discharge by field emission and the survivability of the LVFE structure at high pressure were all considered.
- Physical Chemistry
- Lasers and Masers