The effects of the additive gases nitrogen and hydrogen on the gain, electron density, discharge voltage and positive-ion spectra of the plasmas of room-temperature sealed-off CO-He-Xe gas laser mixtures have been examined. Hydrogen affects the electron kinetics little, but its addition is always detrimental because the vibrationally excited CO is relaxed by V-T collisions. The effect of nitrogen is more complex; there is a beneficial CO-N2 vibrational pumping channel and a detrimental effect due to increased discharge voltage and hence gas heating. It is not a necessary additive for high-power laser operation.
- electric discharges
- gas lasers
- rotational and vibrational energy transfer