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Plasma kinetic effects of nitrogen and hydrogen addition to carbon-monoxide laser discharges

Murray, G.A. and Smith, A.L.S. (1982) Plasma kinetic effects of nitrogen and hydrogen addition to carbon-monoxide laser discharges. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 15 (11). pp. 2125-2133. ISSN 0022-3727

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The effects of the additive gases nitrogen and hydrogen on the gain, electron density, discharge voltage and positive-ion spectra of the plasmas of room-temperature sealed-off CO-He-Xe gas laser mixtures have been examined. Hydrogen affects the electron kinetics little, but its addition is always detrimental because the vibrationally excited CO is relaxed by V-T collisions. The effect of nitrogen is more complex; there is a beneficial CO-N2 vibrational pumping channel and a detrimental effect due to increased discharge voltage and hence gas heating. It is not a necessary additive for high-power laser operation.