Optical pumping has long been the most versatile technique for generating powerful cw radiation in the far-infrared region, and recent experiments with NH3 have extended cw operation to the 12-μm region. In our early experiments, we obtained 1 W at 12 μm by optically pumping the sR(5.0) transition in NH3 with the R(30) 9-μm CO2 line (pump offset, ~190 MHz).1 Recently, a comprehensive investigation of the 12-μm Raman laser dynamics was carried out to compare the small signal 12-μm gain with the theory of two radiation fields interacting with a three-level system 2 Using the results of this study, we have constructed a 12-μm Raman waveguide laser with cw output power as high as 8 W.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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