Abstract

Propagation of laser pulses in a multilevel photoionization system is studied for atomic laser isotope separation. For this purpose a simulation code called cealis-p has been developed. Through numerical solutions of coupled Maxwell–Bloch equations we illustrate the propagation characteristics and the influence on the photoionization efficiency. It is shown that near-resonant interactions with the nontarget isotope will significantly alter the laser-pulse shape, carrier frequency, and propagation velocity, resulting in degradation of the photon-utilization efficiency and ionization efficiency.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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