Abstract

The factors influencing laser oscillation by the decay of excited molecules formed by a chemical reaction are analyzed. The molecular system consists of three electronic levels, X, A, and B, listed in order of increasing excitation, of which the A level is preferentially populated by chemical reaction. Each of these states has its associated vibration-rotational levels. Effects of collision and rotational perturbation on depleting and on populating these levels are included in the analysis, which consists of solving the set of rate equations describing the growth of the various A and B states in conjunction with the condition for lasing. Electronically excited CN,(CN*), produced by an atomic nitrogen flame reaction is considered as an example. A possibility exists for lasing of CN* at infrared and red wavelengths provided that the reaction is kept at low temperatures (∼77°K). Even, then, it is necessary that the lower vibrational levels of the ground electronic state approach thermal equilibrium as soon as they are formed. A number of possible schemes for depleting the vibrational levels of the X states are discussed.

© 1965 Optical Society of America

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