Optics 101

Xenon Excimer Laser – Properties and Applications

Topics Covered

Introduction
Laser Properties
Applications
References

Introduction

Xenon laser is a noble gas laser that is categorised as an excimer laser. Xenon is a heavy, colourless and odourless gas. It is non-reactive by nature. Xenon consists of eight stable and as many as 40 unstable isotopes.

Xenon lasers are a type of excimer lasers, which is an ultraviolet laser that is mostly used in the production of microelectronic devices. Excimer is the short form of ‘excited dimer’ and usually consists of a noble gas and a halide that emit wavelengths in the ultraviolet region. A more accurate terminology for excimer laser is exciplex laser.

Xenon laser was first discovered at the Bell Laboratories in the year 1962. Initially the laser action in xenon was observed; later researchers found out that the addition of helium to the lasing medium improved the emission. The first excimer laser made use of a xenon dimer which was energised by a beam of electrons; this resulted in the production of an ultraviolet wavelength of 176 nm. The wavelengths produced by the xenon laser are scattered in the visible region and extend up to the UV and IR regions.

Xenon lasers are mainly used for scientific research. Some of the other uses are in medical fields and lithography.

Laser Properties

Laser Properties
Laser type Gas
Pump source Electric Discharge
Operating Wavelength 176 nm

Applications

Xenon lasers are predominantly used in scientific research. They are also used in NMR spectrography.

Some of the other applications of xenon lasers are as below:-

  • Photolithography
  • Dermatological treatment
  • Scientific research

References

 

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