8 November 2012 Diode-pumped alkali laser-bleached wave dynamics
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Abstract
A three level analytic model for optically pumped alkali metal vapor lasers is developed by considering the steady state rate equations for the longitudinally averaged number densities of the ground 2S 1/2 and first excited 2P3/2, and 2P1/2 states. The threshold pump intensity includes both the requirements to fully bleach the pump transition and exceed optical losses, typically about 200 Watts/cm2. Slope efficiency depends critically on the fraction of incident photons absorbed. For efficient operation, the collisional relaxation between the two upper levels should be fast to prevent bottle-necking. By assuming a statistical distribution between the upper two levels, the limiting analytic solution for the quasi-two level system is achieved. The highly saturated pump limit of the recently developed three-level model for Diode Pumped Alkali Lasers (DPAL) is also developed. The model is anchored to several recent laser demonstrations. A rubidium laser pumped on the 5 2S1/2 – 5 2P3/2 D2 transition by a pulsed dye laser at pump intensities exceeding 3.5 MW/cm2 (< 1000 times threshold) has been demonstrated. Output energies as high as 12 μJ/pulse are limited by the rate for collision relaxation of the pumped 2P3/2 state to the upper laser 2P1/2 state. More than 250 photons are available for every rubidium atom in the pumped volume during each pulse. For modest alkali atom and ethane spin-orbit relaxer concentrations, the gain medium can only process about 50 photons/atom during the 2 – 8 ns pump pulse. At 110° C and 550 Torr of ethane, the system is bottlenecked. The system efficiency based on absorbed photons approaches 36% even for these extreme pump conditions. Furthermore, at 320°C with 2500 torr of helium, a pulsed potassium laser with 1.15 MW/cm2 peak intensity and 9.3% slope efficiency has been demonstrated.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Glen P. Perram, Glen P. Perram, Wooddy Miller, Wooddy Miller, Ed Hurd, Ed Hurd, } "Diode-pumped alkali laser-bleached wave dynamics", Proc. SPIE 8547, High-Power Lasers 2012: Technology and Systems, 854709 (8 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.972308; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.972308
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