The humble electrically pumped gas laser has undergone little development in its fifty year life span due to the lack of an effective method to confine light within a hollow waveguide of any appreciable length in which an electrical discharge could be contained. New technologies in the field of anti-resonant guiding hollow core fibres present an opportunity to re-invent the gas laser. A recent breakthrough in the field demonstrated that DC pumped glow discharges of a helium and xenon gas mixture could not only be sustained in such a fibre, but also exhibited signs of gain on a number of mid-IR neutral xenon laser lines.The research presented in this thesis is a continuation of that project. The system was redesigned to incorporate two mirrors so that a cavity could be constructed. The previously hinted at gain on the 3:51 μm xenon line was confirmed through a series of CW measurements of the cavity, as was a polarisation of the laser due to a polarisation dependent output coupler.Further observation of the discharges revealed that they were of a pulsed nature, and that the mid-IR laser light was present in the discharge afterglow. A response to the cavity mirrors was observed in this afterglow pulse on the 3:11 and 3:36 μm xenon lines in addition to the 3:51 μm line previously seen. Through fast detection a modulation of the output power due to cavity mode beating effects was detected. The high gain and narrow bandwidth of the xenon laser lines resulted in a frequency pulling effect, and the mode separation in the `hot' laser cavity was measured to be lower than in the `cold' cavity.It was observed through pressure optimisation experiments in helium-xenon that higher output powers could be achieved by using lower partial pressures of xenon. This was exploited with neon-xenon mixtures, where the lower ionisation potential of neon allowed a lower pressure of xenon. Discharges were also achieved in helium-neon and argon gas mixtures.
|Date of Award||2 Jan 2018|
|Supervisor||William Wadsworth (Supervisor)|