Abstract

An inert-gas plasma with molecular transitions Σ1,3u+−Σ1g+ is one of the main active media for generating stimulated vacuum UV radiation. Experiments with heavy inert gases pumped with a pulsed electron beam, carried out in the early 1970s, proved that such generation is possible in principle. It was also established that lasing cannot be obtained in the continuous regime because of the large width of the spectrum to be amplified. This publication proposes an efficient mechanism for generating stimulated vacuum UV radiation in the indicated media, including in the continuous regime. The proposed mechanism explains the conflicting results of earlier experiments in the pulsed and continuous regimes.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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