e2v manufactures a range of tubes used in laser excitation:
Copper Vapour Lasers
Copper vapour lasers utilising thyratron technology are used in machining applications. The important operating parameters are high frequency (>10 kHz) and high inverse voltages which place heavy demands on thyratron design. Other conditions are 20kV, 1kA, short 100ns pulse lengths, but rates of rise of current are high (>50 kA/µs) and the thyratron recovery time must be very fast.
CO2 Lasers (DC and RF excited)
Our triodes and tetrodes are used in the power supplies of industrial CO2 lasers, either to control or pulse the HV DC supply (DC excitation) or to generate RF power (RF excitation). In DC excitation, the laser gas is excited by a high DC voltage, controlled by a suitable vacuum device, capable of working at voltages of up to 35kV. In RF excitation, the laser gas is excited by an RF field generated by a suitable amplifier or oscillator device.
In both cases, electricity is converted to a very small and powerful beam of light, able to deliver a large amount of energy over a very small area. Industrial laser systems (particularly using medium and high power CO2 lasers) have replaced many traditional machine tools for punching, drilling and milling. They are also used for welding and material processing (surface hardening for example). We make a range of devices used in DC and RF excited laser power supplies.
Eximer lasers are used in a wide range of applications, including scientific investigations in the biological field, delicate medical treatments (e.g. eye surgery) and semiconductor processing. Operating conditions are generally 30 kV with up to 10 kA peak current pulses but only of a few hundred nanoseconds duration. Operating frequencies are modest at a few hundred Hz, but rate of rise of current is generally high (> 100 kA/µs). Jitter is sometimes an important parameter. Reliable operation is again paramount.
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