We have constructed and tested a longitudinal Pockels cell with a clear aperture of 26 cm × 26 cm. Transparent plasma electrodes formed in a low-pressure glow discharge were used to apply a uniform electric field to a 1-cm-thick KDP crystal. Optical switching times of 50 nsec were achieved with a bare KDP crystal. Significant improvement in switching time resulted from using a glass-plate–KDP-crystal sandwich.
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