The dynamics of pulsed line-tunable NH3 lasers are investigated by measuring small-signal gain as a function of NH3 transition, NH3 concentration, and pump intensity. Under typical experimental conditions, it is shown that the rotational populations in NH3 thermalize and that consequently the relative gain distribution can be described by a ratio of vibrational populations. Peak gains of 20% cm−1 are reported for mixtures of 4% NH3 in N2 pumped by the 9R(30) CO2 laser line. Heating that is due to increased pump absorption reduces the gain in mixtures of higher NH3 concentrations. The experimental results are in good agreement with the predictions of a rate-equation model, which can be applied to optimize line-tunable NH3 lasers.
© 1985 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: August 6, 1984
Manuscript Accepted: November 19, 1984
Published: April 1, 1985
H. D. Morrison, B. K. Garside, and J. Reid, "Gain dynamics in pulsed 12-μm NH3 lasers," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 2, 535-540 (1985)