Abstract

An 80-MHz train of pulses, each lasting ~200 psec, has been switched from the output of a ~1-W cw CO2 laser. The switching element, an uncoated Cr-doped GaAs étalon, was controlled by the ~1-W average power output of an argon-ion laser. Sensitive picosecond switching, pulse differentiation, and contrast enhancement of 10-μm pulses are also demonstrated using high-finesse étalons. The sensitivity of plasma-based devices for the control of ~10-μm and longer wavelength radiation is emphasized, and the physics of a new device (a plasma-beam deflector) is discussed.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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