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Performance of an array of plasma pinches as a new optical pumping source for dye lasers

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2 Author(s)
Rieger, Harry ; Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 61801 ; Kim, Kyekyoon

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A new optical pumping source consisting of an array of plasma pinches in the hypocycloidal‐pinch geometry is employed to pump a variety of dye lasers. A dye cuvette is inserted along the symmetry axis of the plasma device such that it may be surrounded by the plasma pinch. The light from the plasma pinch is very intense and rich in ultraviolet, which makes it an attractive optical pumping source for dye lasers, particularly in the blue‐green spectral region. Control of the plasma fluorescence is achieved by the choice of gas, its fill pressure, and the capacitor bank voltage and its stored energy. The rise time of this ‘‘plasma flashlamp’’ depends mainly on the gas species and the fill pressure. Output energy of ∼2 mJ per cm3 of lasing medium, or 2 kW/cm3 for a 1‐μs laser pulse, is obtained from rhodamine 6G, coumarin 480, LD 490, and coumarin 504 dyes. That both the coumarin 480 and rhodamine 6G lasers have the comparable output power is a direct proof that the present optical pumping source is more efficient than the commercial xenon flashlamps in pumping lasers in the blue‐green spectral region.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 11 )