A method of excitation of CO2 lasers using multiple
electric discharges, with individual stabilisation resistors
on both sides of the discharge, to obtain stable, and uniformly
distributed volume of excited gas is demostrated.
A number of different electrode configurations relevant
to axial and transverse excitation have been investigated in
both parallel (current flow in adjacent discharges in the same
direction), and anti-parallel (current flow in adjacent electrodes
in the opposite direction). The results have been applied to a high flow rate axial
flow laser system. Measurements of power output indicate that
an increase of 18% was obtained using multiple discharge
compared with a single discharge of the same total current.
The results were also applied to a transverse flow system and
cw operation was obtained.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.