Second generation kinetically-enhanced copper vapour lasers: Recent advances

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The performance of 100W small-scale "second-generation" kinetically-enhanced copper vapour lasers of active length 1 m long and volume 0.25-0.8L are reviewed. These systems have substantially reduced plasma tube insulation so that the lasers operate in a regime of high heat flux. The specific output powers are a factor of 2 higher than "first- generation" kinetically-enhanced copper vapour lasers and five-fold higher than copper vapour lasers operating without HCl additive. It is shown that the spatio-temporal gain characteristics remain well suited to efficient extraction of high beam quality output, as an amplifier or oscillator using unstable resonators. Radially-resolved measurements of the Cu density indicate that the plasma properties are much closer to equilibrium than expected from thermal models, indicating promise for further increases in specific output power. The implications for specific output power of H2:CuBr and Cu HyBrID lasers are also considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number93
Pages (from-to)500-510
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue numberPART I
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • "Hook" method density measurements
  • Copper vapour laser
  • Discharge kinetics
  • High beam quality
  • High power laser
  • High pulse rate
  • Kinetically enhanced
  • Power scaling
  • Second generation


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