Abstract

We developed a pulsed, continuously tunable laboratory laser source for the mid-infrared spectral range of 4.4–8 μm, which is characterized by the spectral linewidth of 0.4 cm-1. The device is based on the stimulated backward Raman scattering in solid para-hydrogen at T = 4 K. It is pumped by a focused beam obtained from a commercial near-infrared optical parametric oscillator with output energy of ∼20 mJ (7-ns pulse). Output energies range from 1.7 mJ at 4.4 μm to 120 μJ at 8 μm, which correspond to quantum efficiencies of 0.53 and 0.08, respectively. Spectra of NO, H2O, and CH4 molecules in the mid-infrared were recorded. The operation of the Raman cell pumped with 532-nm radiation was also studied.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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