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Optica Publishing Group
  • Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics
  • OSA Technical Digest (Optica Publishing Group, 1991),
  • paper CFH3

Excitation processes for the generation of high average power in the 2–5 μm region from the barium vapor laser

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The barium vapor laser (BVL) is a high duty cycle (~10 kHz) pulsed source which has demonstrated high average output power capability (~10 W) in the near-IR (1.13, 1.5 μm), and has potential for high average power generation in the mid-IR (2-5 μm) spectral region.1 Our previous investigations have identified the optimum operating conditions for lasing on the strong BVL transitions at 1.13 μm, 1.5 μm, 2.55 μm, 2.92 μm, and 4.7 μm lines in a small (30 cm3) externally heated device.2 This study established that optimum conditions for lasing at 2.55 μm were quite different for the other transitions in the BVL. Using the scaling information provided by this initial study, the output at 2.55 μm was scaled to 1.5 W in a large-scale (300 cm3) device.3 Our experience with parametric studies of laser performance has demonstrated that the excitation mechanisms for the mid-IR lines are complex. The upper laser levels for the 2-5 μm lines are not strongly connected to the ground state as is normal for the standard cyclic excitation scheme. More powerful techniques are therefore required to allow the excitation pathways to be unambiguously identified.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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