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Ion laser plasmas

Bridges, William B. and Chester, Arthur N. and Halsted, A. Stevens and Parker, Jerald V. (1971) Ion laser plasmas. Proceedings of the IEEE, 59 (5). pp. 724-739. ISSN 0018-9219. doi:10.1109/PROC.1971.8252.

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The typical noble gas ion laser plasma consists of a high-current-density glow discharge in a noble gas, in the presence of a magnetic field. Typical CW plasma conditions are current densities of 100 to 2000 A/cm^2, tube diameters of 1 to 10 mm, filling pressures of 0.1 to 1.0 torr, and an axial magnetic field of the order of 1000 G. Under these conditions the typical fractional ionization is about 2 percent and the electron temperature between 2 and 4 eV. Pulsed ion lasers typically use higher current densities and lower operating pressures. This paper discusses the properties of ion laser plasmas, in terms of both their external discharge parameters and their internal ion and excited state densities. The effect these properties have on laser operation is explained. Many interesting plasma effects, which are important in ion lasers, are given attention. Among these are discharge nonuniformity near tube constrictions, extremely high ion radial drift velocities, wall losses intermediate between ambipolar diffusion and free fall, gas pumping effects, and radiation trapping. The current status of ion laser technology is briefly reviewed.

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Additional Information:© 1971 IEEE. Reprinted with permission. Manuscript received January 16, 1971. This invited paper is one of a series planned on topics of general interest -- The Editors.
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:BRIprocieee71
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Official Citation:W. B. Bridges, A. N. Chester, A. S. Halsted and J. V. Parker, "Ion laser plasmas," in Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 59, no. 5, pp. 724-737, May 1971. doi: 10.1109/PROC.1971.8252
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9871
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:25 Mar 2008
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 21:02

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