Home-Built Pulsed Multiple Gas (PMG) Laser

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The Pulsed Multiple Gas (PMG) laser described in this chapter is very similar in many ways to the Home-Built Pulsed Argon and/or Krypton (Ar/Kr) Ion Laser from Scientific American. However, the developers of the PMG laser have also used it with xenon (Xe) oxygen (O2), and even suggest that plain old ordinary air might work as well! Though not cove

Home-Built Pulsed Multiple Gas (PMG) Laser
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red in the original reference, it is also likely that with the appropriate mirrors, pure neon as well as other gases will lase with this same basic setup. Most of the major differences are with respect to the power supply. Rather than a simple rectified neon sign transformer and Oudin/Tesla coil trigger, it uses a 15 kV thyratron controlled pulsar in the basic power supply and also includes a more complex design capable of better control of pulse width and energy. This `cascade` system includes a high voltage trigger and lower voltage pulse forming network - similar in some ways to what is used to drive a xenon strobe or solid state laser. When used with argon or krypton, some of the same wavelengths are produced as with normal Ar/Kr ion lasers. I assume this to be the case with xenon as well but I don`t have any data for a xenon ion laser. The Xe lines lase with both the simple exciter as well as the cascade system though most of the Ar and Kr lines require the cascade system. I also don`t know if the O2 lasing process is similar - it could very well be a totally different mechanism being a non-noble gas diatonic molecule. No data is available for O2 with the cascade system. This indicates that the O2 lines may not lase with a wide, lower voltage pulse. In this case, it could be lasing in the afterglow (as has been suggested by some people) which would only operate with the short HV pulse provided by the simple exciter`s...

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