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Laser Active Medium Formation


Study of Mechanisms of Active Medium Formation by Electric Discharge in Pulse-Periodic Oxygen-Iodine Laser

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-OPL/Optics and Lasers/Physics

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Safronova O N

Leading Institute
VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov

Supporting institutes

  • TRINITI, Russia, Moscow reg., Troitsk\nFIAN Lebedev, Russia, Moscow


  • Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal / Physics Engineering Department, Canada, QC, Montreal

Project summary

The main objective of the project is to investigate into the formation mechanisms of the active medium in pulse-periodic chemical oxygen-iodine laser (PPCOIL). The PPCOIL medium is a mixture of excited (singlet) oxygen, stable iodine, and buffer gases. The basic process of pulse formation of the active medium consists of atomic iodine generation inside a laser volume. The photolysis of iodides will consume a lot of energy because of their absorption band is narrow while any pump lamp will emit in a wide band. A more effective and, hence, more promising way to produce atomic iodine consists of generation of a volume electric discharge. The project envisages an experimental and numerical-theoretic research related to the conditions of active medium preparation to generate pulse electric discharge, of atomic iodine production, and of lasing under intensive electric energy deposition into active medium in a pulse-periodic mode.

The feasibility of the project is under doubts as it is based on well-known physical principles. To a certain extent, some mechanisms of active medium formation have been investigated already by us and other authors. Our Institutes also have performed some preliminary studies of electric discharge stimulation in oxygen-containing gas medium.

The Institutes employees involved in the project possess a many-years’ experience in the fields of chemical oxygen-iodine lasers, pulse discharge systems, and measuring apparatus. Our specialists are highly qualified and have enough capabilities to prepare and perform sophisticated experiments, develop mathematical models, and carry out numerical-theoretical analysis of the processes being occurred.

One of the project objectives consists of a peaceful application of the high experience and knowledge of the Russian scientists specializing in areas related to weapon D&D programs. An essential support will be rendered to 22 specialists engaged currently in nuclear branch. An additional outcome of the project is expected as intensive interaction to be adjusted between “nuclear” and other Russian scientists. In addition, “weapon” specialists will be involved in the market-relations sphere inaccessible to them earlier.

The project activities will relate to the following scientific areas:

  • laser physics;
  • electric-discharge physics;
  • plasma physical chemistry;
  • physical chemistry;
  • theoretical physics.

The relevant skills are available in the Institutions proposed as project participants:
  • Russian Federal Nuclear Center-VNIIEF ILFI (RFNC-VNIIEF ILFI), Sarov, Nizhni Novgorod region,
  • Lebedev Physics Institute of RAS, Moscow (Laboratory of Chemical Lasers OKRF FIAN),
  • State Research Center of the Russian Federation, Troitsk Innovation and Fusion Research Lebedev Physics Institute (GNTs RF TRINITI) ), Troitsk, Moscow region

The scientific and technical approach and procedures proposed for study performance are founded in large part on the scientific data acquired by the project participants as was reported at international conferences and various publications [1 – 22].

The project is ultimately targeted to investigate into the formation processes of the active medium of pulse-periodic chemical oxygen-iodine laser under the conditions of atomic iodine volume production in an electric discharge.

The project’s topicality is stipulated by the following outcomes expected of it:

  1. It is intended to permit investigations into the mecahnizms of active medium formation in pulse-periodic COIL, which, in its turn, would lead to an increase in the laser pulse power as compared to the power level from cw lasers;
  2. The project will provide Russian “weapon” specialists with alternative peaceful activity and essential financial support during the project implementation;
  3. Upon its completion, the project will provide a possibility to create additional vacancies engaging nuclear scientists and engineers into a peaceful R&D programs and with a special reference to their speciality.

The project fully meets ISTC goals and objectives as it offers a possibility for the Russian scientists to redirect their knowledge and skill acquired in research and development of mass destruction weapon towards peaceful actions.

References for section 1

  1. N.G. Basov, N.P. Vagin, P.G. Kryukov, D.Kh. Nurligareev, V.S. Pazyuk, N.N. Yuryshev. "CH3I and n-C3F7I as donors of atomic iodine for pulse chemical oxygen-iodine laser" (rus), Kvantovaya Elektronika v.11, No10, 1893-1894 (1984)
  2. N.G. Basov, P.G. Kryukov, N.N. Yuryshev "The pulse-repetition operation regime of a chemical oxygen-iodine laser" Trends in quantum electronics, Proceeding of the 2nd Conference, Bucharest, September 2-6 (1985)
  3. Arutyunyan R.V., Baranov V.Yu., Borisov V.M., etc. «Near-electrode processes effect upon the volume discharge contragating in pulse-periodic lasers» (rus), Kvantovaya Elektronika, v.12, No 5, 971 (1985)
  4. N.P. Vagin, P.G. Kryukov, V.S. Pazyuk, N.N. Yuryshev "Water vapor effect upon the emission energy of pulse periodic oxygen-iodine laser" (rus), Kvantovaya Elektronika, v.13, No 5, 1986
  5. N.P.Vagin, V.A.Zolotarev, V.S.Pazyuk, Yu.P.Podmar'kov, M.P.Frolov, N.N.Yuryshev. “Influence of molecular chlorine on the output energy of a pulsed chemical oxygen-iodine laser”. Kvantovaya Elektronika (Moscow) 18, 840 (1991) [Sov.J.Quantum Electron. 21, 760-763 (1991)].
  6. N.N. Gerasimenko, V.A. Eroshenko, V.V. Kalinovsky, V.V. Konovalov, I.M. Krukovski, V.D. Nikolaev, L.N. Shornikov "A chemical oxygen-iodine laser with high vapor content" J. de Physic IV ¹ 1-c7, 672-681 (1991)
  7. N.P.Vagin, V.A.Zolotarev, P.G.Kryukov, V.S.Pazyuk, Yu.P.Podmar'kov, M.P.Frolov, N.N.Yuryshev. “Influence of an iodine donor on the output energy of a pulsed oxygen-iodine laser”. Kvantovaya Elektronika (Moscow) 18, 33 (1991) [Sov.J.Quantum Electron. 21, 28-32 (1991)].
  8. V.V. Kalinovsky, G.A. Kirillov, V.V. Konovalov, V.D. Nikolaev "High–power oxygen-iodine laser" SPIE v.1980, p.138-147 (1992)
  9. V.A. Eroshenko, V.V. Kalinovsky, G.A. Kirillov, V.V. Konovalov, V.D. Nikolaev "Experimental and theoretical investigation of oxygen-iodine laser with the power up to 5 kW" 9-th International Symposium on Gas Flow and Chemical Lasers, 21-25 September (1992), Heraclion, Creet, Greece, abstracts p. WdFP 6
  10. N.P. Vagin, V.S.Pazyuk, N.N. Yuryshev "Pulse chemical oxygen-iodine laser with volumetric atomic iodine production in electric discharge" (rus), Kvantovaya Elektronika, v.22, No8, 776-778 (1995)
  11. Borisov V.P., Burtzev V.V., Velikanov S.D., etc. "Pulse-periodic electric-discharge DF laser with pulse repetition frequency up to 50 Hz and energy per pulse ~ 1 J" (rus), Kvantovaya Elektronika v.22, No7, 11 (1995) [Sov.J.Quantum Electron. 25(7), 617-620 (1995)].
  12. Yu.P.Podmar'kov, M.P.Frolov. “Determination of the concentrations of oxygen and water vapor, and of the temperature of the active medium in a chemical oxygen-iodine laser by intracavity laser spectroscopy”. Kvantovaya Elektronika (Moscow) 23, 611 (1996) [Quantum Electron. 26, 595-598 (1996)]
  13. Velikanov S.D., Evdokimov P.A., Zapol’skiy A.F., etc. «Peculiarities of discharge formation in HF(DF) laser using knife-edged electrodes» (rus), Kvantovaya Elektronika, v.25, No10, 925 (1998).
  14. A.A. Adamenkov, Yu.N. Deryugin, B.A. Vyskubenko, S.P. Ilyin, V.V. Kalinovsky, Yu.V. Kolobyanin, V.V.Konovalov, I.M. Krukovsky, E.A. Kudryashov, V.D. Nikolaev "Oxygen-iodine laser research at RFNC-VNIIEF" SPIE v.3574, p.326-331 (1998)
  15. N.P. Vagin, A.A. Deryugin, A.A. Ionin, Yu.M. Klimachev, I.V. Kochetov, A.P. Napartovich, D.V. Sinitzyn, N.N. Yuryshev, «Highly excited oxygen breakdown in a constant electric field» (rus), Fizika Plasmy, v. 26, 299, 2000
  16. N.P. Vagin, N.N. Yuryshev "Transverse discharge excited pulse chemical oxygen-iodine laser" (rus), Kvantovaya Elektronika v.31, No2, 127-131 (2001)
  17. V.S.Pazyuk, Yu.P.Podmar’kov, N.A.Raspopov, M.P.Frolov. “Direct detection of singlet oxygen O2(a1Δg) by absorption at the a1Δg b1Σg+ transition using intracavity laser spectroscopy”. Kvantovaya Elektronika (Moscow) 31, 363-366 (2001) [Quantum Electron. 31, 363-366 (2001)].
  18. A. P. Napartovich, A. A. Deryugin, I. V. Kochetov, “Discharge production of the singlet delta oxygen for iodine laser” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys., v. 34, 1827-1833, 2001


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