CO2 laser tube

Thread Starter

Bogdan.m

Joined Apr 20, 2019
57
I don't know if this is the right thread to start this topic, but here goes, i am trying to build a CO2 laser tube by myself since the process seems a little too simple and i want to see what it involves. I could not find any good documentation about this process and i would like to ask if anyone else made it. My main questions are:
-can the tube be acrylic ?
-is it pressurized or just the mix of gasses at "room pressure" ?
-the semi reflective mirror is a big question mark, i have not been able to find any info about this one, i know they have different material mirrors, bot no mention about the semi reflective one. What is the deal with this one ?
 

ZCochran98

Joined Jul 24, 2018
142
Based on some very brief preliminary research, unless you're working at MW or GW power ranges and hitting solid metal or metallic targets, you probably don't have to worry about X-rays. Basically, as long as you don't intend on causing nuclear fusion, you should be fine. IR, that you should be more concerned about (but only from a heating perspective - obviously, also don't shine it in your eyes). The CO2 laser has an emission wavelength of 9-12 um, which is deep into the infrared (for reference, visible light is ~450-750 nm, and UV is <450nm. Xrays are incredibly small - on the order of a few nm).
 

Thread Starter

Bogdan.m

Joined Apr 20, 2019
57
Thank you. I know this laser is going to produce IR so i will buy a good pair of protection glasses, usually these kind of lasers have a wavelength @1600nm but since mine is home made it can vary a little, i think because my gas mixture is not going to be spot on.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
8,806
They do run at lower than ambient pressures, and because a CO2 laser develops a lot of heat the acrylic tube will not be a good choice. I investigated building one using a retired mercury vapor light tube from a blueprint machine quite a few years back. I soon learned that to get one KW out I had to put over TEN KW in, and that would be a rather serious power supply because it would take a quite high voltage at almost an amp of current. But the show stopping problem was the mirrors for use at that power level.
And since the goal was a laser that could bore a small hole in a car at 100 feet, it would be a quite serious assembly. The precision required to align the mirrors is a big deaL Smaller lasers use brewster mirrors at some specific angle, and even that gets complex rapidly.
 
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