CO2 Lasers (9.1 μm - 10.9 μm) | Edinburgh Instruments
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CO2 Lasers (9.1 μm - 10.9 μm)

CO2 Lasers (9.1 μm - 10.9 μm)

The PL series of continuous wave (CW), grating tuned, infrared gas lasers, sets the standards for high power, stable sources for a wide variety of applications:

  • Radar modelling
  • Non-linear optics
  • Interferometry
  • Process control
  • Atmospheric studies
  • Plasma density measurements

Product Description

The PL-series of lasers include grating tuned CO2 lasers with a step tuneable wavelength from 9.1 μm – 10.9 μm with single line powers from a few Watts (Model PL2), to 50 W (Model PL5) and even to 180 W (Model PL6), each characterised by excellent amplitude and frequency stability for the most technically challenging tasks.

The PL2 laser lends itself to flexible tailoring to scientific applications. For example, if used with our 184T pump station, the laser head can be filled with the desired isotopic gas mix which gives the user access to a range of alternative wavelengths.

The higher power PL-series lasers can be used to optically pump polar gases (for example methanol, formic acid, etc) to create Far-Infrared (FIR) laser emission. The FIR/TeraHertz region (40 μm – 1.2 mm, or 7.5 THz – 0.25THz) can be used for temperature measurement of fusion reactor plasma. There are also many applications in homeland security and scanning, scattering density measurements, radar modelling, etc.

[accordion clicktoclose=”true”][accordion-item title=”PL2-M / PL2-S (1 W to >10 W output power)”]

The PL2-M has a maximum rated power of 10 W and the PL2-S has a maximum rated power of 1 W on the strongest lines, and more than 60 lines are available. The laser is operated in sealed-off mode with initial gas lifetime guarantee of 12 months. A vacuum valve is fitted to allow user replenishment, with standard or isotopic gas mixtures for ultimate flexibility and ease of operation at lowest cost. Operation is via a hand held control console for laser ON/OFF, discharge current (with liquid crystal display) and piezo voltage.


[accordion-item title=”PL3 (>20 W output power)”]

As with the PL2-M, the PL3 gas is user replenishable. By changing the cavity optics and gas mixture, the PL3 can be converted into a tunable CO2 (from CO laser) laser covering the 9.1 μm to 10.9 μm region. Typical single line powers are 20 W for CO2. The PL3 is driven by the compact, LPS-D dual output switch mode power supply.


[accordion-item title=”PL5 (>50 W output power)”]

The PL5 is a flowing gas CO2 laser producing single line powers in excess of 50 W and operating on more than 80 individual lines. The cavity optics consist of two ZnSe Brewster windows, a gold coated diffraction grating and a ZnSe output coupler. The laser head is supplied with all necessary vacuum couplings, valves and a capsule gauge to enable flow operation. A suitable vacuum pump is available to complete the system.

For CW and chopped output operation, the LPS-5 power supply is available. Q-Switched operation of the PL5 can be achieved with the PL5-QS option. This is a six sided polygon scanning mirror assembly which mounts in the intercavity space between the grating and rear Brewster window. Depending on laser operating conditions, pulses of typically 2 kW peak power and pulse widths of 200 ns are achieved at frequencies up to 1kHz.


[accordion-item title=”PL6 (>180 W output power)”]

The highest power tuneable CO2 laser currently available is the model PL6, offering single line power up to 180 W and more than 90 lines across 9.1 μm to 10.9 μm. The flowing gas laser head is a single U-folded design with twin discharge tubes. The laser resonator is passively stabilised with a 5 bar invar support frame which is decoupled from the laser base by orthogonal rose bearings.

Cavity optics comprise of a gold coated diffraction grating and piezo-mounted output coupler. Within the cavity, two high reflectivity folding mirrors reflect the beam internally and two ZnSe Brewster windows are used to seal the discharge tubes. The PL6 is driven by the LPS2000 dual output power supply.



Technical Specifications

Specification CO2 CO2 CO2 CO2 CO2
Model Name PL2-S PL2-M PL3 CO2 PL5 PL6
Output Power – flowing (W) 50 180
Output Power – sealed (W) 1 10 20
Number of Lines 50 60 80 80 90
M2 1.25 1.25 1.35 1.25 1.50
Beam Divergence – 1/e2 (mrad) <7.5 <6.5 3.5 3.5 3.5
Beam Diameter – 1/e2 (mm) 4.0 4.8 7.5 7.5 11.0
Polarisation Vertical Vertical Horizontal Vertical Vertical
Amplitude Stability <±1% <±1% <±1% <±1% <±2%
Frequency Stability (kHz/sec) 200 200 60 500 500
Frequency Stability (actively stabilised) (MHz/10min) ±1 ±1 ±1 ±2 n/a
Cavity Length (cm) 42 77 178 183 388
Dimensions (L) (cm) 65 110 221 220 220
Dimensions (W) (cm) 12 12 52 22 45
Dimensions (H) (cm) 13 13 37 22 32
Weight (kg) 18 18 100 36 125
Gas Requirements Sealed / user replenishible Sealed / user replenishible Sealed / user replenishible 1.2 lit/min (flowing gas) 9 lit/min

Tuning mechanism: Piezo-ceramic length tuner and diffraction grating wavelength selection


Laser Stabilisers

For applications demanding excellent medium and long tern stability, an active stabiliser may be required. This will compensate for laser output fluctuations caused by changes in ambient conditions and lock the variation in laser frequency or power to a value close to the passive jitter. Edinburgh Instruments has designed a family of active stabilisation techniques appropriate to the type of laser and operating conditions. Stabilisation of laser output is possible for up to 60 minutes.

Laser Pumping and Refilling Systems

All flowing gas laser systems are supplied with the necessary valves, gauges and vacuum couplings for simple connection to the system vacuum pump. A range of turbo molecular and dry pumps are available as upgrades. Please contact us for more information.

Gas Mixing Stations

These are designed to allow mixing and metering of up to 3 component gases from independent gas cylinders. Comprising of 3 inlet ports with individual flow meters or needle valves for gas mixing or gas flow operation.