Abstract

In this Letter, we investigate, for the first time to our knowledge, the spectral properties of a quantum-cascade laser (QCL) from a point of view of a new application as a laser seeder for a nanosecond-pulse high-repetition frequency CO2 laser operating at 10.6 μm wavelength. The motivation for this work is a renewed interest in such a pulse format and wavelength driven by a development of extreme UV (EUV) laser-produced-plasma (LPP) sources. These sources use pulsed multikilowatt CO2 lasers to drive the EUV-emitting plasmas. Basic spectral performance characteristics of a custom-made QCL chip are measured, such as tuning range and chirp rate. The QCL is shown to have all essential qualities of a robust seed source for a high-repetition nanosecond-pulsed CO2 laser required by EUV LPP sources.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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