Atmospheric pressure CO2lasers giving high output energy per unit volume
Two electrode designs are described that are capable of producing high output energy densities from pulsed atmospheric pressure CO 2 -N 2 -He lasers. In both cases a uniform volumetric excitation is obtained by the use of an auxiliary discharge. The first system uses a mesh cathode and has produced 4.8 J from an excited volume of 800 cm 3 (6 J.1 -1 ). The second system uses a solid cathode and has produced 2 J from an excited volume of 110 cm 3 (18 J.1 -1 ). Results of a parametric study of the solid cathode system are given. The output pulse energy, peak power, and pulse shape have been studied as functions of the energy-storage capacitor value, charging voltage, and gas composition. Partial self-mode-locking and the effect of single-mode operation on the pulsewidth have been observed.