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Posted on Feb 5, 2014

This LASER is constructed on a polystirene sheet. An alluminium layer foil is placed and acts as a ground plate ( - ), this is important for preionization (i will discuss it later). After that the dielectic is placed on it leaving 1 cm from each border of the foil). The dielectric thickness determinates the max voltage, capacitance, and important

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, the inductance. Thicker foil means less capacitance, more voltage and more inductance(since the loop area increases). Many reports that the inductance grows faster than voltage so the risetime is reduced (di/dt = V/L). Less capacitance means also less energy for bang. Many peoples reports that thinner foil works better but has a limited lifetime and limited voltage strenght, so the spark gap must be brought closer. After placing the dielectric I proceed to place the cap plates (separate) made with alu foil. The cap plates but be at 0. 5 cm from each other, not closer (or will arc-over), not farther (or we will loss preionization, that helps to trigger the lasing). The caps must be clamped with other polystirene sheets and with bolts/nuts. After that the electrodes were placed touching the foil and with adjustable distance. The charging inductor is some turns of enamel wire connecting the two plates, must be optimized for best performance (squeezing or wideing it). The spark gap must be closer as possible to ground plane to minimize inductance (read further to know why). The electrodes distance must be adjusted for the best performance. When it will lase, a strong fluorescence will appear on paper or marker. Having some Fluorescein will visualize the beam. The power supply must be current limited or you will fire some hudred shots in a couple of seconds. The best repetition rate is 1shot/second or more, to put less stress...

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