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Old 01-03-2012, 04:38 AM   #1
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Default my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

A few weeks ago, I decided to buy one of those 40W co2 tubes that are so popular around here.

I quickly changed my mind and bought a dye laser instead. (Good thing my offer on a co2 tube got declined)

Last Saturday, I got a package in the mail.



This 54lb beast of a package was my dye head and circulator.



Unfortunately, the dye circulator was covered in toxic laser dye (not a fun cleanup job).





The Laser

The dye laser I'm using is a coherent 599.



I wouldn't have guessed that my first variable Wavelength laser would be class IV
(you need a substantial pump source to obtain an output of >500mW)



Here is the dye head with the cover off, I am shining my 90mW green through it. (no dye)



The birefringent filter, the magic optic that allows the output to be tuned.



A size comparison with my argon.

The Dye

The dye I will be using is Rhodamine 6g



The dye allows for a tuning range from yellow (maybe green?) to red.



I am still in the process of gathering all the materials.
I will update this thread as my project progresses and will hopefully get some high power tunable yellow beamshots soon.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Is this a unit with a high speed dye jet? Or is it a pulsed operation?

Hence... Class IV

I can't wait to see it fired up!
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meatball View Post
Is this a unit with a high speed dye jet? Or is it a pulsed operation?

Hence... Class IV

I can't wait to see it fired up!
High speed dye jet, it has been tested up to 32W pump power (8.5W output at 600nm iirc)
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

What is the pump source?

With a 32W input could you also get multi-watt output it the yellow range?
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Quote:
Originally Posted by benmwv View Post
What is the pump source?

With a 32W input could you also get multi-watt output it the yellow range?
give me a 32W argon and i'll let you know
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Can't wait for video! Seriously, this thing sounds awesome. (Aside from the dye cleanup)
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

That's just insane! Can't wait to see some beam shots.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Pretty sure that was glycol you were seeing not dye, hopefully food grade.
Its used as anti freeze etc. same as anti freeze without the oil for the water pump.
Make sure you dont run it empty , it may have some bearing on the cooling.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Highpower yellow laser mmm.....
I WANT IT
Can't wait for some beamshots !

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Old 01-03-2012, 02:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

How will you pump it? What was the cost?
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:12 AM   #11
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Somedude View Post
Pretty sure that was glycol you were seeing not dye, hopefully food grade.
Its used as anti freeze etc. same as anti freeze without the oil for the water pump.
Make sure you dont run it empty , it may have some bearing on the cooling.
You are partially right, what you are seeing is ethylene glycol (reagent grade)
However, it is also mixed with dye dissolved in reagent grade methanol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eexe View Post
How will you pump it? What was the cost?
I'll be using a dpss pump source.

As for the price, I'll wait until i'm done spending money before I post the price.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:33 AM   #12
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

So the pump wavelength needs to be around 480nm?

I wonder if you could get away with a 445nm diode?
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:51 AM   #13
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

^ if you could I think you'd need an array of them.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:06 AM   #14
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Quote:
Originally Posted by benmwv View Post
So the pump wavelength needs to be around 480nm?

I wonder if you could get away with a 445nm diode?
The peak absorption wavelength for Rhodamine 6g is around 530nm.

The 514nm line is the one that does all the work, 445nm goes straight through.



I split the lines of my argon to show how each line is absorbed. (514nm at the top, 454nm at the bottom)

The pump beam also needs to be focused down to a very small point, something those 445nm diodes just can't do.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:41 AM   #15
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Ahh, so you are going to use 532nm dpss.

I googled Rhodamine 6g and I seen specral graphs when excited with 480nm light, so I assumed that you meant the 488 argon line and 473 dpss.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Cool!
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

That's quite a big project you're starting, but definately interesting! What kind of pump laser do you have? You'll probably need a few watts to get above threshold. Does this laser use a dye jet or a cuvette?

Be careful with the dyes and their solutions, they can be quite toxic. Probably the main reason why I don't plan to get my dye laser running.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:16 PM   #18
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Why do they use an argon to pump it at 514 and not a frequency doubled dpss?

Also, pics show a cuvette, right?
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefan View Post
That's quite a big project you're starting, but definately interesting! What kind of pump laser do you have? You'll probably need a few watts to get above threshold. Does this laser use a dye jet or a cuvette?

Be careful with the dyes and their solutions, they can be quite toxic. Probably the main reason why I don't plan to get my dye laser running.
I will be using a 0.5W DPSS, not ideal but it will do for now (it's all i can afford). I will likely end up selling it and getting a higher power.

methanol - http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927227

ethylene glycol - http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927167

rhodamine 6g - http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927579

yeah, all around nasty stuff.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BShanahan14rulz View Post
Why do they use an argon to pump it at 514 and not a frequency doubled dpss?

Also, pics show a cuvette, right?
This laser is 22 years old, DPSS was significantly less feasible then.
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:11 AM   #20
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

A quick update:

I got my pump laser last Friday.



It's a 750mW, however the beam isn't perfect. The coherent rep i talked to said i could expect ~5% efficiency which is piss poor. I will probably end up selling it and getting a laser with some better beam specs down the road.



^my labby with some of Ash's portables
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:19 AM   #21
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Not a bad looking beam shot though. Just not tem00. Someone will take it off your hands.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:20 AM   #22
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Beam quality is very important, with a good beam the efficiency will be far higher. But apparently dye laser also can have with a rather low threshold:
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If diodes can pump one a mostly TEM00 DPSS will do even better. Of course not all dye lasers are created equal.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:09 PM   #23
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

This all looks like a lot of fun! I'v always been curious how these really worked....looking forward to a video. I'm also surprised that they are pumped by an Argon, for some reason I thought they would be pumped by a nitrogen laser.

Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more!
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:42 PM   #24
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

For CW use they can be pumped by an argon laser or a 532nm DPSS. Pulsed dye lasers can be pumped by a flashlamp, nitrogen laser, doubled or tripled YAG. Lots of choices.
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Highlights of my laser collection:
Big Sky Er:YAG - HP 8168D 1480-1570nm tunable laser source - Spectra Physics 3800 modelocked Nd:YAG - lots of IR diodes and bars - LPC-815 200mW 650nm - DL 6353TL 635nm 5mW - HP5501A stabilized HeNe - 2x Melles Griot 05-STP-910 stabilized HeNe - Spectra Physics 3500 Dye laser - REO 30536 543nm 2mW - Coherent DPY315-100 532nm 100mW SLM DPSS - Lexel 85 - 3x B&W tek 10mW 473nm - 445nm 3W Bluefan Sabre module - SF-AW210 150mW 405nm - DPSS inc 355nm 100mW Q-switched

Power meters:
Laser precision RkP-575 w/ RK-5710 - Ophir 10A-V2-SH - Ophir OEM 20C-A - HP 8152A w/ 2x 81521B - Coherent 212 - Anritsu ML93 w/ MA98A - 2x laser precision AM-400 - Leader LPM-8000

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Old 01-26-2012, 05:05 AM   #25
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Default Re: my dye laser project [ pic heavy ]

Another update:

I took some power graphs

first 15 minutes:



A 10 minute graph after it had been on for some time:



After some warm up it does appear to be TEM00 though it has a parallel beam.
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