Phase II year
1997 (last award $$: 1997)
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will fabricate and demonstrate a prototype air cooled, sealed-off, 33-cm gain length carbon dioxide laser, having a 40-watt average output power and a peak output of 1 kilowatt. To achieve this output, the laser will use an innovative excitation geometry that generates a rectangular cross section transverse RF discharge between a pair of narrow, low area, closely spaced ceramic side walls, that transfer heat by collisions from the discharge and guide the intra-cavity mode in the small transverse dimension. The widely spaced, low capacitance electrode permits efficient RF discharge pumping with 27 or 13 MHz excitation. This moderates standing wave effects with longitudinal discharge uniformity but without the use of intra- or extra-vacuum inductive elements. This unique excitation geometry forces the gas discharge into a shape that naturally suppresses the tendency of the discharge to transition into the undesirable gamma or high current mode of operation. Potential commercial applications are expected in emerging medical-dental procedures using a simple, low intra-vacuum part count, low cost laser device approach.