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Role of excited state photoionization in the 852.1 nm Cs laser pumped by Cs-Ar photoassociation

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8 Author(s)
Hewitt, J.D. ; Laboratory for Optical Physics and Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA ; Houlahan, T.J. ; Gallagher, J.E. ; Carroll, D.L.
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Photoionization of Cs (6p 2P3/2) atoms during the operation of a Cs D2 line (852.1 nm: 6p 2P3/2→6s 2S1/2) laser, pumped by free→free transitions of thermal Cs-Ar ground state pairs, has been investigated experimentally and computationally. Photoexcitation of Cs vapor/Ar mixtures through the blue satellite of the D2 transition (peaking at 836.7 nm) selectively populates the 2P3/2 upper laser level by the dissociation of the CsAr excited complex. Comparison of laser output energy data, for instantaneous pump powers up to 3 MW, with the predictions of a numerical model sets an upper bound of 8 × 10-26 cm4 W-1 on the Cs (6p 2P3/2) two photon ionization cross-section at 836.7 nm which corresponds to a single photon cross-section of 2.4 × 10-19 cm2 for a peak pump intensity of 3 MW cm-2.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:102 ,  Issue: 11 )