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By Jon Singer on May 23, 2011
TJIIRRS, Report Number 15A:
Toward a Straightforward DIY Flashlamp-Pumped Organic Dye Laser
Step 1, First Proof of Principle: A Minimalist Machine
(Is it possible to threshold a dye laser with only 6 Joules input?)
(December 19, 2009, ff)
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 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