diy dye laser

This page details the construction of a prototype dye laser that is intended for initial checking of some parameters — for example, I want to know whether a simple design will threshold easy  dyes with minimal input energy. In principle, the answer is already known to be Yes ; but in practice it may not be so easy. The laser will be operating
diy dye laser - schematic

close to margins, and any sacrifice of efficiency will be difficult to work around. This preliminary design uses a commercial capacitor and a commercial spark gap switch, both of which I hope to eliminate in later designs. The machine that I`m working toward will almost certainly use a commercial flashlamp, though, because xenon is the most efficient emitter in the wavelength regions of interest for pumping organic dyes. It will, very likely, also use commercial laser mirrors. Quite a few dye lasers have been operated with simpler mirrors, which could be homebrewed, but I am not at all certain that these machines will have enough oomph  to overcome the losses inherent in [e. g. , aluminum] mirrors. OTOH, for those who are willing to work at long wavelengths, using red and NIR dyes, sputtered gold mirrors may be viable: a clean coating of gold has reflectance of at least 98% from the far red on out through the IR, and a thinly-sputtered coating could serve as an output coupler. ) This laser uses high voltages, and capacitors that can store lethal amounts of energy. It puts out a laser beam that can damage your eyes and skin, and it uses organic dyes, some of which are known to be quite toxic. It also uses flammable organic solvents. It is important to take adequate safety precautions and use appropriate safety equipment with any laser; but it is crucially important with lasers that involve high voltages and present a...

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