Soft x-ray radiation pumping is an attractive scheme for the production of excited ionic states for spectroscopic measurements.1,2 However, because the soft x-rays are confined to a small region, it is difficult to excite the large volumes necessary for practical lasers. This difficulty may be overcome by depositing the electron energy into high densities of helium and exploiting the efficient termolecular charge transfer and Penning ionization reactions to produce the excited ionic alkali halide states.3

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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