A compact surface-discharge laser system has been developed and applied to optically pumping the bound → free XeF (C → A) transition that lases in the blue-green (475–490-nm) and the 2P1/2 → 2P3/2 transition of atomic iodine at 1.315 μm. Employing no high voltage or current switches and occupying only ~1 m2 of table space, this device has an active length of ~50 cm and at present dissipates >8 MW/cm of surface discharge for a stored energy of 2.5 kJ. With 5% output coupling at 485 nm, energies of >50 mJ are obtained on the XeF (C → A) transition in 1.5-μs (FWHM) pulses. The spectrum of the untuned oscillator is virtually free of absorption features and has a width of ~15 nm (FWHM). Pulse energies exceeding 0.7 J have been obtained for iodine at 1.3 μm with an output coupling of only 10%.
© 1995 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 1, 1994
Published: May 1, 1995
B. A. Knecht, L. D. Mikheev, J. G. Eden, V. S. Zuev, R. D. Fraser, D. J. Wheeler, and C. J. Zietkiewicz, "Compact XeF (C → A) and iodine laser optically pumped by a surface discharge," Opt. Lett. 20, 1011-1013 (1995)