Joss Research: A Simple “Breadboard” Dye Laser for Nitrogen Pumping

(2004 Jan 31)

Here’s a dye laser, assembled on the bench; the nitrogen laser (upper right, first photo) reflects from the large mirror at left, which focuses it into the [homebrew] dye cell in the middle. (In this photo, it contains Rhodamine 6G in 95% ethanol.) The prism lets me tune the output.


The entrance window of the dye cuvette is a fused silica Brewster plate that I’ve had lying around for a while; the end windows are pieces of microscope slide. I find that although most microscope slides are made of rather green glass, a few are extremely clear and uncolored. I reserved a few of those to use as end windows, because I don’t have enough fused silica. I suspect that I could use the same material as a front window, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. (Alternatively, if you can assemble the cuvette without breaking it, a cover slip should work as the front window -- it’s thin enough that it probably won’t absorb much of the pump pulse.) The base and back are pieces of ordinary microscope slide. I’ve used aquarium-grade silicone caulk material to glue the bits together.

The extra mirror at lower left (visible in the first photo) sends the output to a screen on the wall so I can photograph it. Here is a set of tuning photos, using the R6G solution that you can see in the photos above --


(I’ve concentrated a bit on the long-wavelength end of the range, as there is some interesting structure there.)

Work on the Avco-Everett C5000 nitrogen laser head, a simple homebrew nitrogen laser, a somewhat more advanced homebrew nitrogen laser, and other dye lasers, including a short-cavity tuned dye laser for TEA nitrogen-laser pumping and a flashlamp-pumped dye laser continues. To the top of the LASERs section Home

This work is supported by
the Joss Research Institute
19 Main St.
Laurel  MD  20707-4303   USA

Email:, where a is my first name and b is joss (only 3 letters in my name, just jon, no “h”)

Phone: +1 240 604 4495.

Last modified: Thu Jun 14 23:04:08 EDT 2013