Carbon monoxide lasers, with multiline output in the spectral region around 5 μm, have recently attracted interest for applications in thermal processing of materials and particularly for surgical procedures. In such applications, the prospects of low loss fibre transmission and the excellent optical coupling to biological tissue (water) offers attractive prospects for medical laser system design. However, such systems of this kind would require the availability of compact carbon monoxide lasers with power levels to perhaps 100 W cw, but which operate in a sealed configuration and without the necessity for cryogenic cooling.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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