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Old 09-06-2012, 05:52 AM #1
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Default Uses for different Nd based wavelengths

I'm making a poster on Neodymium for my chemistry class. I'll be devoting a small section to Nd doped lasers, focussing on a few particular wavelengths. Specifically 355nm 473nm 532nm 589nm and 1064nm. What are some things I can say about each wavelength? 355nm is used in inertial confinement fusion, 532 is used to pump some dye lasers, what about the others? Any suggestions?

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Old 09-10-2012, 09:03 PM #2
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Default Re: Uses for different Nd based wavelengths

Well 473nm was used for initial mixing for RGB laser shows as blue diodes didn't exist back then, and argons (457nm specifically) were difficult to produce and (488nm argon) was not suitable for mixing. Plus a lot less heat is generated. 473nm is described as a powder blue, and it's uncommon in pointers as it's not easy to produce.

589nm... that there is a mystery to WHY it was produced in a Nd:YAG at all. I know scientists are looking for a more effective way of producing 589nm (for astronomy purposes, feel free to google that) than a sodium vapor laser, however why SFG was their choice is beyond me. It's rather inefficient, not to mention extremely hard to produce... You may want to mention this wavelength's precursor, 593.5nm. There's no purpose other than the purpose of it being easier to produce than some of the other wavelengths Nd:YAG can be forced to produce (while not being easy at all to produce itself). Really it's only there to fill some of the gap between green and red.

1064nm is pumped into a frequency doubler to produce 532nm (as frequency doubling is wavelength-halfing). It's also used in some cutting tools where deep IR from CO2 lasers aren't suitable. But mostly frequency doubling for 532nm.

With 532nm... how many people in your chemistry class know what a dye laser is? You may want to explain to them that their green pointers they buy at the beach are made from this process.

I don't go into the UV wavelengths in my research so I can't really say much on their behalf.

Hopefully some of what I provided is useful,
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:46 PM #3
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Default Re: Uses for different Nd based wavelengths

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soren View Post
I'm making a poster on Neodymium for my chemistry class. I'll be devoting a small section to Nd doped lasers, focussing on a few particular wavelengths. Specifically 355nm 473nm 532nm 589nm and 1064nm. What are some things I can say about each wavelength? 355nm is used in inertial confinement fusion, 532 is used to pump some dye lasers, what about the others? Any suggestions?

in advance
Well its worth mentioning that each of the wavelengths are derivatives of one of the 2-3 strongest lines of the dopant (Nd.

355nm beams are the THG of 1064 IE 355*3 = 1064. They're useful as seed lasers, for pumping SS lasers, dye lasers, and oscillators.

473s from the 946 line are useful for fluorescence are microscopy.

532s actually seem to fill a large niche where others lasers may only specialize.

589s are useful for exciting sodium atoms in the upper atmosphere, and 1064 is about twice as useful as 532 when it comes to filling a wide niche pool - with the addition of being used to create all the other lasers in the list here.

532 and 1064 fill some needs in areas of materials processing, sensing, cutting, remote measurement, suturing and many many more.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:33 PM #4
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Default Re: Uses for different Nd based wavelengths

1064nm is rapidly becoming the most commonly used industrial laser for cutting and welding of most metals (primarily steels). There has been a massive increase in high power 1064 systems, and at a very reasonable footprint. For example, Trumpf has a 16KW Disk laser that is ~2.8m x 1.4m in size. While there may be smaller CO2 systems available, the ability for the 1064nm to be fiber coupled to the workpiece is a great advantage.
The ability for the 1064nm system to be solid state means a huge reduction in maintenance as well

1064nm gives you the ability to have high power pulses at a low rep rate

355nm, also known as Triple YAG is used a lot in circuit board manufacturing as is 266nm (the 4th harmonic of YAG)

There is also the 5th harmonic of YAG at 213nm, I don't know much about its use though.

These are all just part of the YAG family. There are other Nd doped:

YLF - 1047, 1053
Glass - 1060
YVO4 - Not sure

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Old 09-18-2012, 08:03 PM #5
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Default Re: Uses for different Nd based wavelengths

To add on to what others have said about the yellow wavelengths...
Very high power yellow lasers (589nm) are used to create an artificial "guide star" for calibrating telescopes for atmospheric turbulence.

Turbulence in the atmosphere is like flowing water. When it is fast moving the image on the other side becomes distorted - the light is refracted.
By using a guide star, the turbulence in the atmosphere can be calculated and the adaptive optics system bends the primary mirror to reduce the distortion of the image. This way, very sharp images can be attained from ground based telescopes in most conditions.
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