Title
Effect of helium/argon gas ratio in a He-Ar-<tex>$Cu^{+}$</tex> IR hollow-cathode discharge laser : modeling study and comparison with experimentsEffect of helium/argon gas ratio in a He-Ar-<tex>$Cu^{+}$</tex> IR hollow-cathode discharge laser : modeling study and comparison with experiments
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Research group
Plasma, laser ablation and surface modeling - Antwerp (PLASMANT)
Publication type
article
Publication
Berlin,
Subject
Physics
Source (journal)
Applied physics: B: photo-physics and laser chemistry / German Physical Society. - Berlin
Applied physics B: lasers and optics. - Heidelberg
Volume/pages
76(2003):3, p. 299-306
ISSN
0946-2171
ISI
000182758000017
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The He-Ar-Cu+ IR laser operates in a hollow-cathode discharge, typically in a mixture of helium with a few-% Ar. The population inversion of the Cu+ ion levels, responsible for laser action, is attributed to asymmetric charge transfer between He+ ions and sputtered Cu atoms. The Ar gas is added to promote sputtering of the Cu cathode. In this paper, a hybrid modeling network consisting of several different models for the various plasma species present in a He-Ar-Cu hollow-cathode discharge is applied to investigate the effect of Ar concentration in the gas mixture on the discharge behavior, and to find the optimum He/Ar gas ratio for laser operation. It is found that the densities of electrons, Ar+ ions, Ar-m* metastable atoms, sputtered Cu atoms and Cu+ ions increase upon the addition of more Ar gas, whereas the densities of He+ ions, He-2(+) ions and He-m* metastable atoms drop considerably. The product of the calculated Cu atom and He+ ion densities, which determines the production rate of the upper laser levels, and hence probably also the laser output power, is found to reach a maximum around 1-5% Ar addition. This calculation result is compared to experimental measurements, and reasonable agreement has been reached.
E-info
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