Abstract

Cavity-free lasing of ${\rm N}_2^ +$ induced by a femtosecond laser pulse at 800 nm is nearly totally suppressed by a delayed twin control pulse. We explain this surprising effect within the V-scheme of lasing without population inversion. A fast transfer of population between nitrogen ionic states ${{\rm X}^2}\Sigma _g^ +$ and ${{\rm A}^2}{\Pi _u}$, induced by the second pulse, terminates the conditions for amplification in the system. The appearance of short lasing bursts at delays corresponding to revivals of rotational wave packets is explained along the same lines.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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