Skip to Main Content
This paper considers third-harmonic generation in phase-matched mixtures of alkali metal vapors and inert gases. Calculations show that the combination of near-resonant nonlinear susceptibilities, the ability to phase match, and the relatively high UV transparency of these vapors should allow high conversion efficiency for picosecond laser pulses with a peak power of 108-109W. Calculations of the nonlinear susceptibility and of the ratio of xenon atoms to metal vapor atoms which is necessary to achieve phase matching are given for each of the alkalies as a function of incident laser wavelength. Processes that limit the allowable peak power density and energy density are discussed and guides for determining the metal vapor pressure, cell length, and beam area are given.