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Old 08-23-2010, 11:20 PM #1
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Default Building a Spectra Physics pumped dye laser

Hello everyone, first time poster here but I have a question regarding the dye cell.

My dye cell I constructed is using glass slides, and I fully expect them to crack under q-switch pulses as opposed to long pulses, but I'm going to try it anyways as a first run before I go and buy a nice cuvette dye cell, but the question pertains to both the cheapo as well as how to go about ensuring the nice one wont fail under heavy use.

The lasers I have here are a spectra physics Quanta Ray which puts out ~400mJ/pulse at 60Hz (2x30Hz) at 532nm and also have the 355nm harmonic crystal installed (200mJ/p). The second is a New Wave Pegasus PIV (~10mJ/pulse) @ 20,000hz (10kx2) @ 527nm.

My question is about the dye cell. At very high power at 532nm, is there a need to cool the dye at all. A lot of energy is going out at the other wavelength, but should I still be concerned about the dye temperature? A simple sink, or circulator are what I had in mind.

Another question is at the 355nm, if I am not using quartz, but instead borosilicate which will absorb ~10% of the UV, I'd be safe in assuming I might put a nice crack right along my laser line due to thermal shock? Does anyone have experience with using a UV source for an 'el cheapo' dye cell?


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Old 08-24-2010, 05:24 AM #2
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Default Re: Building a Spectra Physics pumped dye laser

Try virtually any colored compound in your laser chamber to see if it will lase, but sticking with what is known to work (at least in the beginning) is probably the wisest choice.
Would suggest that you purchase it from one of the companies who specialize in laser dyes such as Lambda Physik at 1-800-EXCIMER, or Exciton at 1-937-252-2989.

You will most always need a pump for fresh dye. What are you using, laundy detergent or Sharpie ink?
Remember, no perfumes. And always wear your glasses!
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:51 AM #3
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Default Re: Building a Spectra Physics pumped dye laser

Welcome aboard!!!

I worked with dye laser before (many years ago)... hope I can help you.

Onion is correct, try something that is easy to lase, such a rhodamine dye. Do you have dyes already? If you do, which ones?

Also, if you can, use the 355nm, is very easy to induce lasing on dyes, you may want to start with that wavelenght.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:17 AM #4
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Default Re: Building a Spectra Physics pumped dye laser

Coca Cola will lase or so I heard
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:50 PM #5
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Default Re: Building a Spectra Physics pumped dye laser

Thanks for the replies!

The dyes aren't so much an issue. I already use Rhodamin B in my experiments and have acces to some Couramin and fluorecein dyes. I was looking at exciton already for any other colors I might need.

We have easy access to the following through out sister lab:
1. Eosin (490/520)
2. Uranine (490/514)
3. Bromocresol Green (410/457)
4. Rose Bengal (525/559)
5. SYBR Green (488/522)

Do any of you have any experience with the dye cell itself? Did you find it to get hot at all?

PS>> The 400mJ/pulse is concentrated into a pulse of length ~9ns, so power is through the roof.

Last edited by natesal; 08-24-2010 at 04:44 PM.
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