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ArcticMyst Security by Avery

Argon Helium Neon Three Gas Laser

Jun 4, 2012
Alright all you laser historians & experts:

I recently stumbled across an excerpt from Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science - Tokyo that gives mention to a Argon Helium Neon gas laser produced in 1984. Officially it reads "first ever double laser system", not triple, but I think that is simply due to translation errors, regardless, it mentions made by Fuji Film for use as a light source for a document scanner - which in theory would be a white light source.

The article/document title is "FUJI MONOCHRO SCANNER SCANART30" which if you try googling returns literally 0 search results (pretty sad state of google). It takes going to the Japan National Museum of Nature and Science's website and typing in the document number 104310491017 in order to find it. I would post the link to the document but I doubt I have enough posts or rep to do so.

Never heard of such a laser, and since google does not want me to find anything anymore the first thing I did was check through Sam's Laser FAQ, nope nothing. Then sifted through numerous white papers, theses, and research publications, and patents - still no luck. Finally managed to find out the original research was potentially done by Takashi Fukui who has published quite a bit of work in the study of lasers and quantum physics. This only came about due to me writing my own code to scrape for every mention of specific combinations of the original document title and ion \ gas lasers between 1984-1985. This returned an ISSN for a published collection: Japan Printer (in Japanese) volume 68, issue 5, page 43-49, 1985. No access to it.

So what is this thing, and why no information of a 3 gas laser for the production of white light??? I understand the argument for Ar/Kr being easier etc. but the technology was well known by 1984 so why reinvent the wheel?


Jun 18, 2012
I don’t know but I’ll take a stab at it. The helium is used in argon lasers normally but the neon is used with helium to transfer energy and make the transition lines thus I’d expect them to compete and the neon to win. I guess you could get both lines working but I think it would be very unstable. He eve you never saw it come to market. This is a pure guess.


Feb 27, 2023
because it'd make "white" light from only green and red parts. Kr/Ar has more lines, that better covers whole spectrum


Active member
May 14, 2022
The system probably didn't work well. Never heard of such a thing. The description is academic.


Oct 31, 2017
Like others have said it was probably one of those lab discoveries that simply couldnt be developed into a production level of reliability. I have no doubt that he managed to pull it off. But getting something to work in a lab full of millions of dollars worth of cutting edge hardware and getting the techniques and process to scale up such that u can replicate that process and have predictable consistent reliable results, and then creating a system thats able to recreate the process with consumer grade electronic that can be produced with enough quality and reliability to bring to market .....

I remember reading this article about tecording disk media research back in the 90s. They began experimenting with different wavelengths to encode data and were able to produce laser recorded discs using yellow and green lasers and were able to get diodes in the yellow-green spectrum but eventually abandoned it once blue lasers hit the scene and it became obvious they were much more reliable and could encode more data with a shorter wavelength. And even tho they were able to get enough diodes to experiment with, it took another 2 decades before the public first laid eyes on light from a green diode when they found their way into projectors.

Anyways the short of it is they likely did it in the lab, but didnt find a commercial application to expand research so it got shelved and eventually other tech came along that was cheaper and more reliable to produce the same bands of light so that made it such that there was no real rational reason to revive that method of creating those wavelengths.

Unfortunately it seems like thats how a lot of technology evolves. Theres all kinds of things we CAN do and make with science, but the world just doesnt value doing things for the sake of achievement. Yet unless there is a economic incentive motivating us to create a product using new science that will make people money, then theres very little we can do to convince anyone that a project and reaearch must be funded.


May 8, 2009
HeNe and HeCad can coexist in the same tube with multiple sets of electrodes. Neither is optimized for power or stability in a dual tube.

HeNE-HeSe has also been researched.

There is also color HeCad, see US patent 4,287,484

Patent 4,380,078 will give you a headache trying to determine what actually worked, but fills in the details.

The blue lines have high gain, as do the green, but there is little lasing condition overlap in a RGB HeCad.. Red coming from Hene became desirable.

Dr. Shing Wang at Xerox did most of the work, trying to obtain a cheap, polychromatic single beam, so only one modulator is needed.

This was for color laser printers during the time "PD", pre-diode.

Argon Ion and HeNe will not coexist in the same tube, the pressure regimes and current required are vastly different.

Argon and Krypton are fiercely sensitive to additives and poisons. A tiny amount of neon added to a krypton ion laser shifts power all over the place in a multiline laser. It will boost 647 and nearly kill 676 for example, sinks 568 nm emission and boosts the green lines.

Helium in a ion laser speeds the flow through the gas returns, great for reprocessing a tube, but over time the Helium will be quickly buried in the tube walls by the extreme conditions. There is a patent on rebuilding ion tubes with a gas mixture for cleaning the tubes. Speeding the return flow can make gas mixes more even by defeating cataphoretic separation in the tube, great for making more power in a whitelight ion laser, but the effect is short lived due to the easy burial.

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