Abstract

Single longitudinal mode (SLM) selection in a 10-atm CO2 laser is reported. Experiments have been performed with cw injection of 1 mW/cm2 or pulsed injection of 1 mJ/cm2 (in 50 ns) around CO2 line centers. A simple analytical formula of the minimum intensity required for injection of a frequency ν has been obtained. It gives the dependence vs the two most important parameters: (1) the detuning νν¯ to the center ν¯ of the net gain curve, (2) the detuning δνK to the nearest longitudinal mode of the cavity. The comparison with experimental results published on TEA lasers is very successful. The application of the formula shows the possibility of SLM selection continuously tunable in a high pressure CO2 laser with <1 mW/cm2 if a grating is incorporated in the cavity, and with a pulsed source of 1 kW/cm2 without any selective element. The actual sources suitable for this purpose are reviewed.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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