Abstract

A comprehensive three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (3D CFD) modeling of flowing-gas Rb diode pumped alkali laser (DPAL) is carried out. The cases of ${\rm{He}}/{{\rm{CH}}_4}$ and pure He buffer gases are investigated, and the output power and optical efficiency are calculated for various pump powers, mole fractions of methane, buffer gas pressures, and flow velocities. The model considers the processes of excitation of high levels of Rb, ionization, ion-electron recombination, and heating of electrons, which affect the diffusion coefficient of Rb ions. Two types of Rb DPAL were studied: a low-power laboratory-scale device with pump power of several tens of watts and a high-power multi-kilowatt laser. Efficient operation of the Rb laser using pure He as buffer gas can be achieved only in a large-scale laser with a pump beam cross-sectional area of several ${\rm{cm}}^2$. The calculated results for such a device were compared with those reported by Gavrielides et al. [J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 35, 2202 (2018) [CrossRef]  ], where a simplified three-level model based on the one-dimensional gas dynamics approach was applied.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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