The CO2 molecule is a linearly symmetric molecule, with the two oxygen atoms on either side of the carbon atom, indicated by the equilibrium position of the atoms. The atoms in the molecule are always in motion and have to keep vibrating around their equilibrium positions. According to molecular vibration theory, CO2 vibrates in three different ways.
- The two oxygen atoms vibrate in the direction perpendicular to the molecular axis and in the same direction, while the carbon atoms vibrate in the opposite direction perpendicular to the molecular axis. Since the vibrations of the three atoms are synchronized, they are also called deformation vibrations
- Two oxygen atoms vibrate in opposite directions along the molecular axis, that is, both oxygen atoms reach their vibration maximum and equilibrium values at the same time, while the carbon atoms in the molecule are stationary, and thus their vibration is called symmetric vibration.
- Three atoms vibrate along the symmetry axis, where the carbon atoms vibrate in the opposite direction to the two oxygen atoms, also called antisymetricvibrational energy. In these three different types of vibrations, it is determined that there are different groups of energy levels.
The carbon dioxide laser is a molecular laser. The main substance is the carbon dioxide molecule. It can exhibit several energy states depending on its vibrational and rotational form.
The mixture of gases in carbon dioxide is a plasma formed by the release of electrons at low pressure. As stated in the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution law, in the plasma, the molecules assume a variety of excited states. Some will present high energy states which behave as asymmetric oscillations. By natural emission this high energy state decreases to a symmetrical oscillating form as well as radiates photons that may propagate in any direction.