Multiple discharge system for the excitation of a high power CO2 laser
A method of excitation of CO2 lasers using multiple electric discharges, with individual stabilisation resistors on both sides of the discharge, to obtain stable, and uniformly distributed volume of excited gas is demostrated. A number of different electrode configurations relevant to axial and transverse excitation have been investigated in both parallel (current flow in adjacent discharges in the same direction), and anti-parallel (current flow in adjacent electrodes in the opposite direction). The results have been applied to a high flow rate axial flow laser system. Measurements of power output indicate that an increase of 18% was obtained using multiple discharge compared with a single discharge of the same total current. The results were also applied to a transverse flow system and cw operation was obtained.