Editorial Feature

All Gas-Phase Iodine Laser (AGIL) - Properties and Applications

In a chemical oxygen-iodine laser (COIL), the hydrogen peroxide solution acting as the energy source is rather bulky to carry in the mobile body. In addition, the solution cannot be stored for a long time as it tends to decompose. All this imposes certain restrictions to the application of COIL. Hence, all gas-phase iodine laser (AGIL) was developed as an alternative to mitigate the issues with chemical nature of COILs. It is a chemical laser in which gaseous iodine acts as a lasing medium.

The laser is operated based on the energy transfer between metastable chloronitrene (NCl) and ground state iodine molecules. During operation, chlorine atoms react with gaseous hydrazoic acid to produce excited NCl molecules that pass their energy to iodine atoms, similar to what singlet oxygen does in COIL. The excited iodine molecules further undergo standard laser emission.

AGIL has numerous advantages over other types of aqueous-based chemical oxygen iodine lasers, including zero-gravity operation, heat rejection in the exhaust and light weight characteristics.

Laser Properties

Laser Properties
Laser type Chemical
Pump source Chemical reaction of chlorine atoms with gaseous hydrazoic acid
Operating wavelength 1.315 µm


AGIL is an ideal technology for aerospace applications as gases are lighter than liquids and convenient to maintain, store and transport.



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