Homebrew LASER


The purpose of this presentation is to present interesting ideas and perhaps stimulate future projects, but anyone attempting to realize these projects will have to take responsibility for their own safety.
At the same time, I have tried to give credit where credit is due, by including links. I apologize, if I have failed to acknowledge any sources of information.

WARNING: Construction and operation of any laser device is hazardous. Do not attempt to construct or operate a laser without adequate safeguards and safety practices. Most lasers involve high voltages, toxic chemicals, high vacuum, laser radiation and other hazards. The author specifically disclaims any and all liabilities associated with the construction and use of such devices. Designs presented here are in the interests of providing information on operational principles only and do not represent safe nor ANSI safety compliant designs.

Basic Principles of Lasers:

Advantages of the TEA N2 Laser:
  • Can operate in air (72% nitrogen)
  • No optics required
  • Amplification of nitrogen is very high
  • Significant reduction in cost and complexity
  • No vacuum required
  • Parts are generally inexpensive
Disadvantages of the TEA N2 Laser:
  • Timing of spark pulse is critical: ns
  • Upper state lifetime: t[ns] = 36/(1+P[torr]/58)
  • Beam profile is not so good and small
  • Hard to use as dye laser pump (1.5mm-2mm)
  • Light output is in UV (337.1 nm) (but fluorescence visible on paper)
  • Some people recommend the N2 laser in vacuum
  • Less critical electronic requirement

How TEA is looking and some more info you can find here:

Jarrod Kinsey’s TEA Laser