Power of Light:
Types of Lasers
Obviously, as any genius can tell, this page has everything to do about all the many types of lasers there are...well, the general ones at least. They're split into more basic categories for your conveniance: solid-state lasers, gas lasers, Excimer lasers, Dye lasers, and Semiconductor lasers.
Solid-state lasers use a
solid medium, which is just any type of material, like a ruby or a
actual medium, or matter that the light passes through, is a type of
impurity in the center of the gem or glass. This area is used to
reflect electrons, negtive charges in an atom, back and forth to
produce vibrations. As these particles become excited, it causes light
to be emitted, producing what we call laser. In other words, by
reflecting One example of a solid-state laser is a Neodymium-Yag laser
which emits infrared light at 1,064 nanometers per second.
(1 nanometer = 1 x 10 - 9 meters)
Gas lasers, like all other lasers must also have a medium, and it might already by obvious to you that that medium would be a gas. Also, for gas lasers, instead of needing light source like a flashlight, the electrons are excited by an electical discharge, and usually has an output of visible red light. Some examples of gas lasers are helium lasers and helium-neon lasers. These types of lasers usually emit infrared light which is why it is used for cutting hard materials.
Eximer lasers are lasers that mix two types of gases, reactive and inert gases, combined as its medium. Basically, the medium consists of gases that both cause and don't cause chemical reactions. When stimulated, eximer lasers emit a pseudo molecule and a beam of ligh in the ultraviolet range of the electromagnetic spectrum. In the gaseous mixture of the medium are reactive gases such as chlorine and fluorine, and some inert gases used are argon and krypton.
Dye lasers are lasers that use a medium of complex dyes like rhodamine 6G in eiher the liquid solution or suspension form. A dye in suspension form would basically be a mix of a fine dye, as in powdry type of fine, mixed in another type of not-so-fine dye material. These types of lasers can be tuned to a great variety of wavelenghths. Some examples of dye lasers are cw or pulsed dye lasers. An interesting type of laser, the pulsed laser can be used for sking treatments and sends out short, high-energy flashes of light.
Semiconductor lasers, sometimes called diode lasers(which is just a more scientific name), are not solid-state lasers. Semiconductor lasers are the least complex of all the lasers and use the semiconductor itself as a photon source. These lasers are usually very small and use a low power even though they can be built larger. Semiconductor lasers can be used in devices such as laser printers, CD's and other devices.