Studies of copper and gold vapour lasers
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The work described in this thesis covers various aspects of pulsed copper and gold vapour lasers. The work is divided into four main parts : a computer model of the kinetics of the copper vapour laser discharge; construction and characterization of a copper vapour laser and a gold vapour laser system (to be used for photodynamic cancer treatment); analysis of the thermal processes occurring in the various forms of thermal insulation used in these lasers; and studies of the use of metal walls to confine a discharge plasma. The results of this work were combined in the design of the first copper vapour laser to use metal rather than an electrically insulating ceramic material for confinement of the discharge plasma. Laser action in copper vapour has been achieved in a number of metal-walled designs, with continuous lengths of metal ranging from 30 mm, in a segmented design, to 400 mm, where the discharge plasma was confined by two molybdenum tubes of this length. A theoretical explanation of the behaviour of plasmas in metal-walled discharge vessels is described.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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