There has been continued interest in the development of efficient vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) laser sources over the past fifteen years; yet only very few lasers that emit in this spectral range have been demonstrated. Excimers provide excellent active media for powerful UV and visible lasers. It was, therefore, proposed recently to extend the excimer laser concept to VUV and XUV wavelengths by considering excimer or excimerlike transitions in ionic molecules.1·2 Unlike atomic systems, molecular systems, in particular excimers, exhibit lower gain cross sections due to their broader emission bandwidth. Such systems cart, therefore, offer tunability and probably better energy storage capacity than atomic systems. Spectroscopic and kinetic results pertaining to these new ionic excimer molecular transitions are summarized, and initial laser experiments are discussed.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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