In the multi-photon dissociation process of Carbon isotope enrichment, IR photons are used to selectively excite a molecule with the given isotopic base element. This enrichment process is very sensitive to the beam's intensity and wavelength. Because the intensity is determined by the propagation of the field, the enrichment factors are also very dependent on the field propagation. In this paper, the influence of the wavelength and intensity of the beam, on the isotope selective dissociation of a CFC compound is investigated both experimentally and theoretically. Consideration is also given to some of the factors that influence the delivery of various beams to the reactor chamber, and their subsequent propagation through the reactor. The results show that suitable beam forming can lead to an improved isotope separation process.© (2002) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.