Editorial Feature

Hydrogen Fluoride Lasers - Properties and Applications

The hydrogen fluoride (HF) laser is an infrared chemical laser that combines hydrogen produced in a combustion chamber with fluorine gas produced by thermal decomposition of compounds to create excited HF molecules.

It has the potential to provide up to several megawatts of continuous output. The laser outputs light at a wavelength of 2.7-2.9 µm. This wavelength can be absorbed by the air, thereby attenuating the beam and minimizing its range, and hence it has to be used in a vacuum environment.

Laser Properties

Laser Properties
Laser type Chemical
Pump source Chemical reaction in the combustion of nitrogen trifluoride and ethylene
Operating wavelength 2.7 to 2.9 µm

Applications

HF lasers have been primarily used in military and space applications. They are widely used for space-based missile defense systems as the propagation of infrared light is better through upper regions.

Sources and Further Reading

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