Pulsed 4.3-μm CO2 lasers optically pumped by 10-μm sequence band CO2 lasers were first reported by Znotins et al, in 1979,1 In this paper we describe a detailed study of the dynamics of the 4.3-μm laser system. A simple rate equation model is shown to account for most of the experimental results, and the incorporation of coherence effects into the model produces good agreement between theory and experiment over a wide range of operating conditions. Optimization of the laser has resulted in pulse energies of ~15 mJ and peak powers >100 kW. The system uses only conventional CO2 laser technology and should prove useful in applications such as photochemistry and optical pumping.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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