One of the limiting problems with TEA CO2 lasers is the generation of a sufficiently high electron density by preionization to ensure a homogeneous glow discharge when the laser is fired. Any process (electron diffusion, attachment, and recombination) which acts to reduce this density will be detrimental to the performance of the laser, and if the density is reduced below ~106 cm−3, the discharge will tend to arc.1

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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