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Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

2018 year, number 3

Mechanism limiting the frequency-energy characteristics of metal vapor lasers

A.N. Soldatov, N.A. Yudin, Yu.P. Polunin, N.N. Yudin
National Research Tomsk State University, 36, Lenin Avenue, Tomsk, 634050, Russia
Keywords: лазеры на самоограниченных переходах, лазеры на парах металлов, импульсно-периодический газовый разряд, self-terminating lasers, metal vapor lasers, pulsed-periodic gas discharge


Electro-physical processes in the discharge circuit of a pulsed metal vapor laser are analyzed. The greatest attention is paid to the initial period of the discharge development and conditions for the inversion formation. It is shown that the limitation of the frequency-energy characteristics (FEC) of lasing is due to the process of population of the metastable levels of metal atoms on the excitation pulse front and redistribution of the rates of population of the laser levels in favor of metastable ones with an increase in the prepulse electron density. Which of the processes plays a decisive role in limiting the lasing FEC depends on the electro-physical process in the discharge circuit of the laser, the development of which is significantly influenced by the arrangement of electrodes in the gas-discharge tube (GDT). The arrangement of the electrodes in the GDT also determines the conditions for the inversion formation and the choice of the optimum pumping parameters. Technical solutions are discussed which allow the copper vapor laser pumping efficiency to attain ~ 10%.