Remote lasing in humid air from atomic hydrogen

Tat Loon Chng, Arthur Dogariu, Richard B. Miles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Over the last few years, air lasing has emerged as an attractive topic in standoff detection research. Until now however, existing approaches have relied on the major species of air as the gain medium. In this work, we present the first experimental demonstration of an air laser based on water vapor, a minor constituent of air. The approach relies on photodissociation of water vapor molecules followed by two-photon pumping of the constituent hydrogen atoms to produce lasing on the well-known Balmer-alpha line. We characterize this hydrogen laser in both the forward as well as return direction, and discuss the effect of some parameters, including the presence and type of buffer gas, as well as the focusing. We find that most of our results can be explained in terms of their influence on the gain of the stimulated emission process. This method can be potentially applied to other hydrogen-containing molecules and offers a promising approach for standoff detection of trace species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication47th AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624104343
StatePublished - 2016
Event47th AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference, 2016 - Washington, United States
Duration: Jun 13 2016Jun 17 2016

Publication series

Name47th AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference


Other47th AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference, 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Remote lasing in humid air from atomic hydrogen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this