Copper Vapour Laser Kinetics

Researchers - Robert J Carman, David W Coutts, Graham D Marshall, Richard P Mildren, James A Piper, Michael J Withford.

Centre for Lasers and Applications

Updated Aug 2003

The Centre for Lasers and Applications  has a long-standing program into the kinetics of metal vapour laser systems including those based on strontium (violet), barium (near-to-mid IR) and copper (green-yellow) vapours. These systems have been investigated for scaling output characteristics to match the requirements of applications is medical, industrial (including micro-machining and materials processing), and scientific applications.

The most recent research focuses on the kinetics of the high-performance variants of the copper vapour laser - the ‘kinetically-enhanced’ copper vapour laser (KE-CVL) and the Cu HyBrID laser systems. These systems use additions of hydrogen and halogen gases to the discharge which alter the plasma kinetics and bring about very large increases in the output power, efficiency and pulse rate. The Centre has developed several high-performance lasers having the following performance characteristics:

A Cu HyBrID laser delivering 100W with near-diffraction limited beam divergence.

A KE-CVL MOPA system delivering 150W with near-diffraction limited beam divergence.

‘Compact’ KE-CVLs(<1-metre long) generating >100W output power.

High-power KE-CVLs with pulse repetition rates 50-100kHz

Detailed experimental measurements of the laser operating characteristics, parametric behaviour, plasma population densities and comprehensive computer modeling of the laser plasma discharge underlies the successful development of our advanced systems. Maps of the spatio-temporal evolution of key plasma species are measured using a variety of non-perturbative methods including 'Hook' spectroscopy, absorption and two-photon laser induced fluorescence. Computer codes model the interaction of the electrical circuit and the optical fields with the non-equilibrium plasma. These complex codes include rate-equations for 30 plasma species and ~150 electronic, radiative and heavy-body reactions and processes. Moreover, the calculations are performed in a self-consistent manner to include plasma processes that act over multiple excitation/afterglow cycles.


Diagnostics Laboratory: The spatio-temporal evolution of the Cu ground-state density in a 100W KE-CVL measured using UV-'Hook' interferometry

Related links…

Laser Micromachining Solutions

Recent Publications (1996-):

2003

R.P. Mildren and J.A. Piper, "Compact and efficient kinetically enhanced copper vapor lasers of high average power (100W)", Opt. Lett., vol. 28, pp1936-8, (2003)

R.P. Mildren, G.D. Marshall. M.J. Withford, D.W. Coutts and J.A. Piper, "Input/Output scaling of compact (0.8L) kinetically enhanced copper vapour laser", IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. 39, pp773-777, (2003)

R.P. Mildren, "Cu HyBrID Laser Kinetics: Optimization of HBr Partial Pressure and Flow Rate", IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. 39, pp592-599, (2003)

*Review Article*

M.J. Withford, D.J.W. Brown, R.P. Mildren, R.J. Carman, G.D. Marshall, and J.A. Piper, “Recent advances in copper vapour laser technology”, Prog. Quantum Electron., in press, (2003)

R.P. Mildren, M.J. Withford, J.A. Piper and G.D. Marshall, “Specific output power scaling of kinetically-enhanced copper vapour lasers”, in Proc. SPIE, vol. 5120, pp112-117, (2003)

2001

R.J. Carman, R.P. Mildren, J.A. Piper, G.D. Marshall and D.W. Coutts, “Plasma kinetics issues for repetition rate scaling of kinetically enhanced copper vapour lasers” in Proc. SPIE, vol. 4184, Gas Flow & Chemical Lasers and High Power Gas Lasers  pp. 215-218, (2001)

R.P. Mildren, R.J. Carman and J.A. Piper, “Time resolved H atom density measurements in a Cu HyBrID laser”, in Proc. SPIE, vol.4184, pp191-4, (2001)

D.J.W. Brown, M.J. Withford and J.A. Piper, “High-power, high-brightness master-oscillator power-amplifier copper laser system based on kinetically enhanced active elements”, IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol.37, pp.518-24, (2001)

2000

R.J. Carman, R.P. Mildren, M.J. Withford, D.J.W. Brown and J.A. Piper, “Modelling the plasma kinetics in a kinetically enhanced copper vapour laser utilizing HCl + H2 admixtures”, IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. 36, pp438-49, (2000)

R.P. Mildren, “The role of buffer-gas flow in copper HyBrID lasers”, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. vol. 36, pp1145-1150, (2000)

D.J.W. Brown, M.J. Withford, R.J. Carman, R.P. Mildren and J.A. Piper, #8220;High-average-power, high-beam-quality vis-UV sources based on kinetically enhanced copper vapour lasers", in Proc SPIE, vol. 3889, p261-72, (2000)

1999

M.J. Withford and D.J.W. Brown, “A 60-W high-beam-quality single-oscillator copper vapor laser”, IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol.35,pp.997-1003, (1999)

1998 

M.J. Withford D.J.W. Brown, R.J. Carman and J.A. Piper, “Enhanced performance of elemental copper-vapor lasers by use of H2-HCl-Ne buffer-gas mixtures”, Opt Lett., vol. 23, pp. 706-708, (1998)

M.J. Withford D.J.W. Brown, R.J. Carman and J.A. Piper, “Kinetically enhanced copper-vapor lasers employing H2-HCl-Ne buffer-gas mixtures”, Opt. Commun., vol. 154, pp. 160-166, (1998)

R.J. Carman, M.J. Withford, D.J.W. Brown and J.A. Piper, “Influence of the pre-pulse plasma electron density on the performance of elemental copper vapour lases”, Opt. Commun., vol. 157, pp406-412, (1998)

M.J. Withford, D.J.W. Brown and J.A. Piper, “Repetition rate scaling of a kinetically enhanced vapor laser”, Opt. Lett., vol. 23, pp. 1538-1540, (1998)

R.P. Mildren, M.J. Withford, D.J.W. Brown, R.J. Carman and J.A. Piper, “Afterglow ground-state copper density behaviour in kinetically-enhanced copper vapour lasers”, IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. 34, pp2275-78, (1998)

R.P. Mildren, D.R. Jones and D.J.W. Brown, “A 100W, near diffraction limited, copper HyBrID laser oscillator”, J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys., vol. 31, pp1812-6, (1998)

1997

R.J. Carman, “Modeling of the kinetics and parametric behavior of a copper vapor laser: Output power limitation issues,” J. Appl. Phys., vol. 82, pp. 71-83, (1997)

R.P. Mildren, “Hook Method: Recovery of density data from interferograms distorted by large gradients”, Appl. Optics, vol. 36, pp4526-4534, (1997)

R.P. Mildren, D.J.W. Brown and J.A. Piper, “Limiting factors in the PRF scaling of barium vapour lasers”, Opt. Commun., vol. 137, pp299-302, (1997)

M.J. Withford, D.J.W. Brown, R.J.Carman and J.A. Piper, “Investigation of the effects of bromine and hydrogen bromide additives on copper vapour laser performance”, Opt. Commun. vol. 135. pp164-170, (1997)

R.P. Mildren, D.J.W. Brown and J.A. Piper, “Ground-state depletion mechanisms in pulsed barium vapour lasers”, J. Appl. Phys., vol. 82, pp2039-48, (1997)

R.P. Mildren, D.J.W. Brown and J.A. Piper, “Evolution of excited and ground-state species during burst-mode excitation of a barium vapour laser”, IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. 33, pp1717-1726, (1997)

R.P. Mildren, K.E. Osgood and J.A. Piper, “Characteristics of copper HyBrID-type lasers which use HCl reactive gas”, Opt. Quantum Electron., vol. 29, pp991-998, (1997)

R.M. Hentshel, D.J.W. Brown and J.A. Piper, “Mode beating effects in metal vapour lasers”, Opt. Commun., vol. 137, pp299-302, (1997)

1996

D.J.W. Brown, M.J. Withford, R.P. Mildren, and J.A. Piper, “The effects of impurities on metal vapour laser performance,” in Pulsed Metal Vapour Lasers, eds CE Little and N Sabotinov, (Kluwyer Academic), pp161-168, (1996)

R.M. Hentshel, D.J.W. Brown and J.A. Piper, “Optical characteristics of a rectangular bore discharge-exccited Sr+ recombination laser”, IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. 32, pp756-763, (1996)

M.J. Withford, D.J.W. Brown and J.A. Piper, “Optimisation of H2-Ne buffer gas mixtures for copper vapour lasers”,IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. 32, pp1310-1315, (1996)

 


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