Abstract

Lasing on the D1 transition (6P1226S122) of Cs has been observed by photoassociating Cs–Kr atomic pairs with a tunable, pulsed dye laser. Pumping of the blue or red satellites of the Cs D2 line (6P3226S122), peaking at 841.1nm and 853nm (respectively) in CsKrC2H6 gas mixtures, provides a photodissociation laser in which the CsKr excimer parent molecule is not, at any point in the pumping process, in a bound electronic state. Relative to the absorbed pump pulse energy, laser slope efficiencies 5% have been measured when the Cs number density is in the range of 5×10141.5×1015cm3 and the pump wavelength is 841.1nm. Direct photoexcitation of the Cs 6P322 state at 852.1nm under these conditions is a less efficient pathway for pumping the 894.3nm laser, presumably as a result of competing nonlinear optical processes such as 1+2 resonantly enhanced multiphoton ionization of the alkali atom.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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