High-gain backward lasing in air

Arthur Dogariu, James B. Michael, Marlan O. Scully, Richard B. Miles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations

Abstract

The compelling need for standoff detection of hazardous gases and vapor indicators of explosives has motivated the development of a remotely pumped, high-gain air laser that produces lasing in the backward direction and can sample the air as the beam returns. We demonstrate that high gain can be achieved in the near-infrared region by pumping with a focused ultraviolet laser. The pumping mechanism is simultaneous resonant two-photon dissociation of molecular oxygen and resonant two-photon pumping of the atomic oxygen fragments. The high gain from the millimeter-length focal zone leads to equally strong lasing in the forward and backward directions. Further backward amplification is achieved with the use of earlier laser spark dissociation. Low-divergence backward air lasing provides possibilities for remote detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-445
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume331
Issue number6016
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 28 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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