Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Glen P. Perram, PhD.


The Doppler-broadened two-photon absorption (TPA) cross-section for the 52S1/2-> 52D5/2 transition in Rb is measured using direct absorption methods. A detailed model of the intensity profile was developed to account for a focused Gaussian beam propagating through a two-photon absorption medium. A peak absorbance of 24% was observed for an intensity of 6.28 kW/cm2 at the focus, a Rb density of 4.6 x 1015 cm-3 concentrations from 1.61-8.52 x 1015 cm-3 line. Extracting the hyperfine-broadened TPA cross-section from 87 test configurations, while varying the pump power, alkali concentration and focal length, yielded an error weighted average of 6.75x10-21 cm4/W. This cross-section is sufficient for a pulsed dye laser to bleach the pump transition in the Two-Photon Pumped Alkali Laser (TPAL) that lases at 420 nm and 5.2 µm. Additionally, optically pumped atomic rubidium lasers pumped in the blue satellite of the D2 line from the ground Rb-Ar or Rb-Kr collision pair to the dissociative B2Σ1/2 produce laser emission at 780.2 nm. Lasing is achieved for the Rb-Ar system and 757.1 - 760.4 nm for the Rb-Kr system. Slope efficiencies exceed 0.25% using a heat pipe configuration. The gain is very high with photon build-up times of 1-3.7 ns.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number