Abstract

A parametric study to clarify efficiency limiting mechanisms and to maximize the performance of the CH2F2 laser has led to the discovery of five new CO2 pump lines and ten new FIR laser lines. The wavelengths of the new lines fill a previous gap in the spectrum of strong cw FIR laser lines. With appropriate cavity design, measured conversion efficiencies exceed 30% of the maximum theoretical limit. Optimization of the output coupling for the strongest line at λ = 184.6 μm has doubled the maximum output power from the identical system using the λ = 118.8-μm line of CH3OH. The exceptionally high conversion efficiency (33%) occurring at the highest-available CO2 pump power indicates that the limits on scaling to higher output powers have not yet been reached. The results confirm the high-performance capability of the CH2F2 laser, the strongest cw optically pumped FIR laser reported to date.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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