Abstract

An experimental study of the saturable absorption of SF6 at high pressure (up to 500 Torr) with high laser irradiance is presented. Experiments carried out at the P(28) line of the CO2 laser show a decrease of transmittance with increasing laser irradiance before bleaching sets in. This is explained by a theoretical model using a single rate equation. The decrease of transmittance is shown to be due to vibrational excitation, whereas bleaching is caused by rotational hole burning. Previous results on saturation behavior of SF6 at the P(16) line of CO2 reported by Armstrong and Gaddy are given a new interpretation using the present model.

© 1977 Optical Society of America

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