Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



Rare gas halogen lasers are finding increasing usage as an intense source of ultraviolet energy. Many applications require a high energy laser capable of operation at reasonably high repetition rates. Elec­trical discharge pumping satisfies these requirements quite nicely, however to date little has been reported on the discharge character­istics of this class of laser. This paper describes a parametric study done on electrical discharge excimer laser systems.

We have designed and tested a flashboard pre-ionized excimer laser utilizing a cable pulse forming network (PFN) for the main discharge. Extensive voltage and current data were taken with various gas mixtures at various pressures. The voltage and current data were digitized and used to find such parameters as dynamic impedance of the load, energy deposited in the gas, and peak power during the pulse. The effects of varying the length and impedance of the cable PFN were studied. Several interesting relationships were discovered between the various para­meters.

A computer simulation was used to verify the consistency of the data. A comparison of the computer simulated voltage and current pulse to the measured data indicates the data is internally consistent.

Two experiments are described using the lasers studied. The threshold for laser induced air breakdown was measured at 193 nm and at 248 nm. A series of Raman scattering experiments was conducted to obtain levels of energy and wavelengths which were beyond the reach of other experimenters. The high power and beam quality achieved with these lasers was adequate for the purposes of the experiments.

In this paper conclusions are presented relating to the scaling factors for excimer laser systems. These conclusions are expected to have an impact on future rare gas laser system design.

Document Type




Degree Name

Electrical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Martin S. Piltel

Second Committee Member

Ruben David Kelly

Third Committee Member

Wayne Willis Grannemann