Higher Power PL Series CO2 Infrared Lasers

Edinburgh Photonics, a division of Edinburgh Instruments, has designed the PL series of continuous wave (CW), grating tuned, infrared gas lasers that sets the benchmark for stable and high power sources for a wide range of applications, such as non-linear optics, molecular spectroscopy, interferometry, plasma density measurements, atmospheric studies, etc.

The PL-series of lasers have grating tuned CO2 lasers with a step tunable wavelength ranging from 9 to 11 µm with single line powers from a few watts (Model PL2), to 50 W (Model PL5) and 180W (Model PL6). Each laser has exceptional frequency and amplitude stability to meet the most demanding tasks.

PL2 Infrared Gas Lasers

The PL2 laser can be customized to suit scientific applications. For instance, when used with the 184T pump station, the laser head can be filled with an isotopic gas mix which provides access to a wide range of alternative wavelengths.

PL2 M Laser

PL2 M laser.

Figure 1. PL2 M laser.

Edinburgh Photonics offers a small version of the PL2 model laser called PL2 M. The new laser has the highest rated power of 10 W on the strongest lines and over 60 lines are available.

It offers the same performance specifications as the PL2 model. The PL2 M is used in sealed off mode and fitted with a vacuum valve to allow user replenishment, with either standard or isotopic gas mixtures for excellent flexibility, easy and low-cost operation.

PL3 Laser

PL3 laser.

Figure 2. PL3 laser.

The supmodel PL3 laser operates either as CO2 or CO laser with output power up to 25 W and with output >1 W over the 5.1 – 6.0 µm range, respectively.

The PL3 uses different isotopic gas fills to provide about 1,000 lines across the infrared. The PL3 laser includes a UHV sealed, split discharge tube with the piezo mounted output coupler and diffraction grating mounted into a vacuum envelope for optimum operation. The laser is operated in sealed off mode on low gain CO transitions under near room temperature conditions.

The higher power PL-series lasers are designed to optically pump polar gases, such as formic acid, methanol, etc. to produce Far Infrared laser emission. Other applications include radar modeling, scattering density measurements, and homeland security.

The PL3 gas is user replenishable, which is similar to the PL2-M laser. By altering the gas mixture and cavity optics, the PL3 laser can be transformed into a tunable CO2 laser covering the 9 to 11 µm range. The LPS-D power supply is used to drive the laser.

PL5 Laser

PL5 laser.

Figure 3. PL5 laser.

The PL5 laser offered by Edinburgh Photonics is a flowing gas CO2 system that operates on over 80 individual lines and generates single line powers in excess of 50 W. The cavity optics includes a ZnSe output coupler, a gold coated diffraction grating, and two ZnSe Brewster windows. A capsule gauge, valves and vacuum couplings are supplied with the laser head to allow flow operation. A vacuum pump is also available to complete the system.

The LPS-5 power supply is available for chopped or CW output operation. In case pulsed output is needed, in addition to the other two modes, the PS4P power unit is supplied with the PL5 laser. Using the PL5-QS option, Q-switched operation of the PL5 can be achieved.

PL6 Laser

The PL6 is the highest power tunable CO2 laser available in the market. It produces single line power up to 180 W and operates on over 90 lines across 9 to 11 µm.

The laser head has a U-folded design and is fitted with twin discharge tubes. Cavity optics includes a piezo mounted output coupler and a gold coated diffraction grating. The cavity includes two folding mirrors, which reflect the beam internally and two ZnSe Brewster windows, which close the discharge tubes. The LPS2000 dual output power supply is used to drive the PL6 laser.

Accessories for PL Series

A variety of accessories are available for the PL series of lasers. They include laser stabilizers, laser pumping and refilling systems, and gas mixing stations. The PL series is compatible with FIR optically pumped lasers.


The PL series features piezo mounted output couplers for excellent control of cavity length as well as manually controlled diffraction gratings for line selection. A 5 bar invar rod frame used in the PL series passively stabilizes the laser resonator. This rigid frame provides thermal stability of the cavity length and reduces the effect of vibration on the laser output.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Edinburgh Instruments.

For more information on this source, please visit Edinburgh Instruments.


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