We demonstrate strong lasing on the Ni-like transition at 18.9, 20.3, 22.0, and 24.0 nm for Mo, Nb, Zr, and Y ions, respectively, using the transient collisional excitation scheme. Approximately 5 J of laser energy in a combination of a 600-ps pulse and a 1-ps pulse from the Compact Multipulse Terawatt (COMET) tabletop laser system is used to irradiate slab targets of these materials. Small-signal gains of are determined on the transition, with overall gain–length products of 11–12. Lasing is observed and gain is measured on the transition, which is pumped by collisional excitation combined with self-photopumping, for what is to our knowledge the first time.
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