Abstract

An experimental study of a rapidly tuning miniature transversely excited atmospheric-pressure CO2 laser is reported. To rapidly shift laser wavelengths over selected transitions in the 9–11 µm wavelength region, we have utilized a high-frequency stepping motor and a diffraction grating. The laser is highly automated with a monolithic microprocessor controlled laser line selection. For the achievement of stable laser output, a system of laser excitation with a voltage of 10 kV, providing effective surface corona preionization and allowing one to work at various gas pressures, is utilized. Laser operation at 59 emission lines of the CO2 molecule rotational transition is obtained and at 51 lines, the pulse energy of laser radiation exceeds 30mJ. The system can be tuned between two different rotational lines spanning the wavelength range from 9.2 to 10.8 µm within 10 ms.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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