A Quantitative Theory of Noble Gas Ion Laser Discharge: Argon Ion Laser.

by Chuan-Chong Chen

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Applies a previously formulated three-temperature plasma theory to obtain argon ion laser discharge parameters as functions of jR (the product of current density and tube radius) for selected values of pR (the product of total filling pressure and tube radius), at a fixed wall temperature. The calculated electron temperatures agree well with available experimental data in both trend and magnitude. Calculating the collisional excitation-rate-limited power output per unit length for CW argon ion lasers, the two-step excitation rate adequately explains the experimental findings. The power output should scale with the square of pR, favoring large-bore tubes for power generation. However, deinversion due to trapping of resonance line radiation at large pR values may set practical limits. The resonance trapping effect calculated is negligible for pR up to 0.3 torr-cm, but could become quite serious at pR of approximately 1.0 torr-cm. (Based on a UC San Diego doctoral dissertation in engineering sciences; reported in part at an APS meeting and in an AIAA journal article.) 78 pp. Ref. (MW)

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