Skip to Main Content
The output power of pulsed noble gas ion lasers is discussed in terms of dependence on gain, plasma tube length, current density, and excitation mechanisms. Experimental data for some of the strong laser transitions of singly ionized argon in pulsed operation are presented. The resulting power output dependence on current density suggests that two-step excitation plays an important role, particularly in the population of the lower laser levels. This point of view is consistent with observation of ring formation in the output beam cross section, and of the output power dependence on the power of the plasma tube diameter.