Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Science- (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

First Advisor

Joseph W. Bozzelli

Second Advisor

Howard S. Kimmel

Third Advisor

Barbara B. Kebbekus


Purely chemical lasers promise to provide future high-power lasers for remote installations, airplanes, ships and in space without the necessity of external electric power, sources.

This study is about the design and construction of a new, gas phase purely chemical NO2 laser, based on the reaction of NO + O3 + NO2 + O2. The vibrationally excited NO2 species at 1-40 mm Hg total pressure is the source of energy (photons) for the laser. A series of computer program calculations on the reaction kinetics and relaxational processes involved have also been made, showing support for the formation of a population inversion of the vibrationally excited species (N01). The optimum kinetic parameters were determined from these calculations. Two reactor tube systems were constructed for the experiments, one shorter in length (shorter reaction time) than the other, both of which did not show consistent positive results. The maximum time needed for optimum population inversion was attainable in the experiments with the second laser reactor, but higher total concentration of excited NO2 species in the activity medium are needed.

The results obtained with these two laser tube reactors and the kinetic calculations permit the design of a yet improved third generation laser assembly. The third generation laser tube, with transversial flow design as well as a fast, powerful vacuum pump, has been designed on calculations which show that lasing will be achievable.



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