Proof of Principle Experiment for a Coherent CO2 Waveguide Laser Array.
Final rept. 1 Jul 82-3 Oct 83,
SCHAFER (W J) ASSOCIATES INC WAKEFIELD MA
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A method is investigated to increase the output of small carbon dioxide waveguide lasers by coupling several waveguides using leaky modes through the waveguide walls. The theoretical part of the work established the advantages of the coupled mode operation versus output from a corresponding array of uncoupled waveguide lasers as the increase of the power in the bucket in the far field. The problems of optimum gas mixtures and questions of thermal management are treated also. An experimental test of suitable waveguide materials showed that relatively rough surfaced and therefore less expensive zinc selenide ZnSe material has sufficiently low losses. Initial experiments using RF excitation into the waveguides or one single waveguide were unsuccessful due to difficulties in matching RF generator and load. Operation with DC resulted in output powers meeting specifications. A test of two parallel waveguides separated by a ZnSe wall showed coupling of the two lasing channels, if they operated on the same laser transition. This was tested with a pyroelectric detector array which showed the coherent summation of the two far field patterns. Author
- Lasers and Masers