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We report the performance of a kinetically enhanced copper-vapor laser of active dimensions 32-mm inner diameter by 1-m long as a function of the plasma tube thermal insulation. By reducing the insulation to levels much lower than typically used for conventional copper-vapor lasers, the input power for maximum steady-state output increased from 5.9 to 7.4 kW, whereas the laser wall-plug efficiency was constant at approximately 1.4%. At the highest input power, we obtained 104 W at the specific output power 130 W/liter. The depletion of Cu atoms from the axial region by gas heating and ion-pumping depletion is similar to that of copper-vapor lasers having much lower specific input power and the laser gain remains peaked on-axis.
Date of Publication: June 2003