Lasers are devices that produce intense beams of monochromatic, coherent radiation. The word “laser” is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers consist of a gain medium inside an optical cavity, and are available in a variety of types for numerous purposes. Types of lasers include carbon dioxide lasers (CO2 lasers), dye lasers, excimer lasers, helium cadmium lasers (HeCd lasers), helium neon lasers (HeNe lasers), laser diodes, laser pointers, and solid state lasers.
Carbon dioxide lasers and dye lasers are available from many suppliers. Carbon dioxide lasers or CO2 lasers use energy-state transitions between vibrational and rotational states of CO2 molecules to long infrared (IR) wavelengths. They can maintain continuous levels of power. CO2 lasers are used in cutting, welding, etching, and marking applications. Dye lasers use a dye solution as an active medium. They have an output of short-pulse, broad spectrum content with an achievable gain.
Excimer lasers, helium cadmium lasers, and helium neon lasers are also available. Excimer lasers are rare-gas, metal-vapor lasers that produce wide beams of ultraviolet (UV) laser light. Excimer lasers operate through the electronic transition of molecules. Helium cadmium lasers or HeCD lasers are economical, continuous-wave sources for violet and UV outputs. They lasers are used for holographs and 3D stereolithography applications. Helium neon lasers and HeNe lasers maintain emissions that are determined by neon atoms by way of resonant transfers of helium excitation. These lasers operate continuously in the red, infrared, and far-integrated regions while emitting highly monochromatic radiation.
Other types of lasers include laser diodes, laser pointers, and solid state lasers. Laser diodes are also known as diode lasers. These devices use light emitting diodes (LED) to produce stimulated emissions in the form of coherent light output. Laser pointers are compact instruments that produce a visible, low-power laser light. Solid state lasers are lasers that use transparent substances, such as crystalline or glass, as the active medium. These substances are doped to provide the necessary energy states for lasing. Solid state lasers are used in both high and low power applications.
Lasers differ in terms of output, wavelength, and features. The output may be continuous, pulsed, or Q-switched, depending on the application. In addition to the output, lasers produce a range of colored wavelengths. Laser wavelengths are available in UV, violent, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and infrared. Each color represents a different wavelength range and is measured in nanometers. Some lasers are equipped with additional features such as packaging of multiples (arrays), fiber pig tailing, an internal power supply, polarized output, and thermoelectric cooling. Additional features for lasers may be available from some laser manufactures.Read user Insights about Lasers
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Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Lasers
Carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers use the energy-state transitions between vibrational and rotational states of CO2 molecules to emit at long IR, about 10 µm, wavelengths. These lasers can maintain continuous and very high levels of power and are typically used in cutting, welding, etching, and marking applications.
Diode lasers use light-emitting diodes to produce stimulated emissions in the form of coherent light output. They are also known as laser diodes.
Excimer lasers are rare-gas halide or rare-gas metal vapor lasers that produce relatively wide beams of ultraviolet laser light. They operate via the electronic transitions of molecules.
Helium Cadmium (HeCd) Lasers
Helium cadmium (HeCd) lasers are relatively economical, continuous-wave sources for violet (442 nm) and ultraviolet (325 nm) output. They are used for 3-D stereolithography applications, as well as for exposing holographs.
Helium Neon Lasers
Helium neon (HeNe) lasers have an emission that is determined by neon atoms by virtue of a resonant transfer of excitation of helium. They operate continuously in the red, infrared and far-infrared regions and emit highly monochromatic radiation.
Ion lasers function by stimulating the emission of radiation between two levels of an ionized gas. They provide moderate to high continuous-wave output of typically 1 mW to 10 W.
Solid State Lasers
Solid state lasers use a transparent substance (crystalline or glass) as the active medium, doped to provide the energy states necessary for lasing. Solid state lasers are used in both low and high power applications.
- Alignment Lasers
- Carbon Dioxide Lasers
- Continuous Wave
- Fiber Lasers
- Fiber Pigtailed
- Helium Cadmium Lasers
- Helium Neon Lasers
- Internal Power Supply
- Ion Lasers
- Laser Diode Modules
- Laser Diodes
- Laser Pointers
- Nitrogen Lasers
- Laser Type:Other
- Laser Wavelength:Other