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A Joss Research Institute Report: The Dye Laser Head We Bought on eBay…

A Joss Research Institute Flashlamp-Pumped Organic Dye Laser

 

(February, 2004)

Back in December, we won a dye laser head on eBay. (Our thanks to “teknogod4u”, who offered it.) It had a flashlamp and a dye cell in it, and looked interesting. The light from the flashlamp was coupled into the dye cell by a diffuse white reflector, and I wasn’t sure whether that would work at all well.

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Joss Research Institute Web Report #15, part A: Toward an Affordable DIY Dye Laser

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

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