Interest in laser isotope separation and laser induced chemistry is now creating a large demand for tunable lasers throughout the frequency spectrum. In the visible and near uv these demands have generally been met with tunable dye lasers and frequency doubled dye lasers. However, development of tunable lasers operative throughout the ir has proven to be much more difficult. The difficulty is greatly enhanced by the strict wave-length requirements dictated by isotope separation. In this presentation the status of various experimental approaches being pursued for solution of this problem will be reviewed. These approaches may be grouped under the general headings of: optical pumping, non linear optics in gases and solids, electrical discharges in gases, and excitation transfer. In addition, because of the large number of known ir laser transitions, there may be near coincidences between a particular line of an existing laser and the desired absorption feature. In this case one would like to have a fine tuning capability that is continuous over a range of ~ ± .5 cm-1 comparable to spacings between rotational lines. Several possible solutions to this problem will also be discussed.
Stephen D. Rockwood,
"High Power Lasers For Isotope Separation", Proc. SPIE 0076, Ultra High Power Lasers for Practicable Applications, (21 July 1976); doi: 10.1117/12.954769; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.954769