Abstract

We report experimental studies, carried out by using an interferometric technique, of the frequency and flux dependence of vibrational–translational relaxation times of pure SF6, and SF6 with a buffer gas strongly excited by a tunable TEA CO2. laser A notable decrease in the relaxation time has been observed at laser frequencies that are red-shifted and broadened compared with the linear infrared spectrum of SF6 molecules. In particular, our results indicate that under specific experimental conditions the relaxation process is characterized by two different rates, the first of which is related to the occurrence of partial dissociation of the highly excited molecules. A simple, phenomenological model that assesses the influence of dissociation on the nonlinear relaxation time is also discussed.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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