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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 37, Iss. 11 — Jun. 1, 2012
  • pp: 2157–2159

Gain and lasing of optically pumped metastable rare gas atoms

Jiande Han and Michael C. Heaven  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 37, Issue 11, pp. 2157-2159 (2012)

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Optically pumped alkali vapor lasers are currently being developed in several laboratories. The objective is to construct high-powered lasers that also exhibit excellent beam quality. Considerable progress has been made, but there are technical challenges associated with the reactivity of the metal atoms. Rare gas atoms (Rg) excited to the np5(n+1)sP23 configuration are metastable and have spectral properties that are closely similar to those of the alkali metals. In principle, optically pumped lasers could be constructed using excitation of the np5(n+1)pnp5(n+1)s transitions. We have demonstrated this potential by observing gain and lasing for optically pumped Ar*, Kr* and Xe*. Three-level lasing schemes were used, with He or Ar as the collisional energy transfer agent that established the population inversion. These laser systems have the advantage of using inert reagents that are gases at room temperature.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.1340) Lasers and laser optics : Atomic gas lasers
(140.3380) Lasers and laser optics : Laser materials
(140.3460) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers
(140.3480) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, diode-pumped

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

Original Manuscript: March 2, 2012
Revised Manuscript: April 11, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: April 15, 2012
Published: June 1, 2012

Virtual Issues
July 13, 2012 Spotlight on Optics

Jiande Han and Michael C. Heaven, "Gain and lasing of optically pumped metastable rare gas atoms," Opt. Lett. 37, 2157-2159 (2012)

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