Abstract

A novel design for a dc-excited cw CO2 metal waveguide laser has been developed in which a slotted hollow cathode also doubles as a metal waveguide for the cavity modes. This design has been implemented in a compact structure that produces over 1 W of cw 10.6-μm radiation. The discharge characteristics, laser gain, and laser output have been studied as functions of various discharge parameters. The advantages of the transverse discharge of the slotted hollow cathode geometry include low voltage, positive impedance, rugged structure, and high optical gain. Overall efficiency is comparable with that of conventional longitudinal CO2 lasers. The output laser modes are clean low-order Hermite-Gaussian or Airy function modes.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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