dye laser

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A type of laser in which the active material is a dye dissolved in a suitable solvent (e.g. Rhodanine G in methanol). The dye is excited by an external source. The solvent broadens the states into bands and consequently laser action can be obtained over a range of wavelengths. This allows one to select a specific wavelength (using a grating) and to change the wavelength of the laser. Such a device is called a tuneable laser. Dye lasers are also used in producing very short pulses of radiation. The technique is to use a dye that stops absorbing radiation when a high proportion of its molecules become excited. The cavity then becomes resonant and a pulse of radiation is produced. This technique can give pulses of about 10 nanoseconds duration and is used in femtochemistry.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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