Abstract

Ionization of N2 by the third harmonic of a Nd:YAG laser is demonstrated and confirmed experimentally from both spectral and ion-collection measurements. Six photons at 355 nm excite the ground-state neutral molecule to the B2u+(υ=8) ionized state. Intense radiation at 391.4 nm associated with the B2u+(υ=0)X2g+(υ=0) transition was detected. The intensity of this line scales quadratically with the laser power. An ion concentration of 3.25 × 1013 ions/cm3 was detected after irradiation by a 45-mJ laser pulse focused to a diameter of 17 μm. The potential application of this ionization scheme for air velocity and temperature measurements is presented.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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