A report of experiments on low voltage excitation of cw CO2 lasers is presented. Pertinent plasma considerations are given along with the design of various electrode configurations tested. Preliminary results suggest that low voltage excitation of cw CO2 lasers is practical using a grid structure and an inverted brush cathode assembly in a reduced height transverse geometry. The positive resistance V-I characteristics so obtained permit an order of magnitude reduction in external ballast.
G. Sedgwick and H. Seguin, "Low Voltage CO2 Laser Excitation," Appl. Opt. 9, 2737-2741 (1970)