High-Gain Backward Lasing in Air
The need for molecular standoff detection 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. High gain is achieved in the near infrared following 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
... l zone leads to equally strong lasing in the forward and backward directions. Further backward amplification is achieved using prior laser spark dissociation.