Feasibility studues of a visible chemical laser from the detonation products of lead azide

I. Bar, T. Ben-Porat, A. Cohen, D. Hetlinger, Y. Tzuk, S. Rosenwaks

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Recent advances in the feasibility studies of a visible chemical laser from the detonation products of lead azide (LA) are reported. The spatial and temporal behavior of the detonation products, expanding into vacuum, is obtained via high-speed framing photography, transmission of a HeNe laser beam and chemiluminescence from excited Pb atoms. The photography reveals that following the initiation of LA the products form an expanding, bell-shaped cloud. The HeNe beam is attenuated when the cloud of products traverses its route. The intensity and the temporal behavior of the chemiluminescence depend on the distance to a barrier placed above the LA sample. The cloud contains gaseous products and solid particles which propagate perpendicular to the LA surface. By shining a pulsed beam of a Nd: YAG laser through the opaque cloud of products a hole is burned and a transparent medium is obtained. The characteristics of the hole and the expanding cloud are monitored by the HeNe beam and by the framing photography. The hole-burning is a result of eliminating solid particles from the cjoud. When the detonation products are expanded through a supersonic nozzle enhanced emission in the Pb (*P, °-'D2) transition at 722.9 nm is observed. It is suggested that the enhanced emission is due to preferential excitation of Pb (3P1 0) via energy transfer from electronically excited N2 combined with the effect of self-trapping of the emission from3P1 0 to the3P0, 1, 2 states. The expansion through the nozzle also causes a delay in the appearance of the attenuation. Our results show that enhanced emission in a transparent medium can be obtained following the detonation of LA by different means. The prospects to achieving visible lasing in this system are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1992
EventAIAA 23rd Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference, 1992 - Nashville, United States
Duration: 6 Jul 19928 Jul 1992


ConferenceAIAA 23rd Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference, 1992
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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