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Tunable CO2 Laser


Automatic Tunable CO2 Laser (Continuation of project #216-95)

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-OPL/Optics and Lasers/Physics

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Ryabeva E V

Leading Institute
VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov

Supporting institutes

  • NPO ISTOK, Russia, Moscow reg., Fryazino


  • Laser und Medizin-Technologie, Germany, Berlin\nUniversity of Twente, The Netherlands, Enschede\nHeinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf / Institut für Lasermedizin, Germany, Düsseldorf\nUniversity of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, Nijmegen

Project summary

Interest in automatic, output stabilized, powerful enough CO2 lasers tunable over lines in many bands continuous to increase presently. Such lasers find more-and-more extensive application in the areas of ecology monitoring, spectroscopy, metrology, communication systems, laser chemistry, diagnostics of active media of high-power СО2 lasers. A few variants (mocks-up) of an automatic CO2 laser tunable over lines in traditional, sequence and hot bands have been created within the frameworks of the ISTC project #216-95. Pursuant to the Work Plan of the project rather extensive efforts have been completed successfully including such important tasks as:
A-2. Design and manufacture of highly precise precession sites for angular positioning of a diffraction comer reflector (two versions).
A-4. Development and fabrication of nonstandard electronic devices (a few versions of an automatic frequency control system and a step-by-step driver control system).
A-5. Development, design, and fabrication of a small-dimension power supply.
A-7. Study of multifactor optimization of generation and spectral characteristics of a CO2 laser.
A-8. Proving tests of the main sites and blocks in automatic operation of the laser.
A-9. Performance tests, elimination of revealed deficiencies.

Software and hardware means have been developed for handling this laser operation. In general, these versions have been realized using sealed-off electric-discharge tubes made of molybdic glass and differed in a length of discharge gap and mixture composition. All the expected characteristics of the proposed in the project automatic tunable CO2 laser have been achieved successfully. In this aspect, real perspectives appeared for creating a sample device, which should be maximally approached to the industrial version and posses of considerably higher characteristics, which should significantly extend the areas of this device application. However, it was impossible to continue optimizing the active element and resonator parameters within the frameworks of the existing project in view of substantially limited tune for its realization. For example, systems with V-shaped and "folded" (W-shaped) resonators having essential increase in the total "active" length had not been optimized; and systems with an expander of a beam falling onto a reflection grating had not been utilized at all.

Application of these methods would make it possible to improve essentially output characteristics with regard to a power, amount of resolved traditional and non-traditional lines, frequency instability, which would ensure successful implementation of such a device not only in spectroscopy and diagnostics of active and passive media but in communication systems, itinerant measurements, metrology. Besides, within the frameworks of the ISTC project #216-95 we didn't set a task to improve operational resource of some sites and systems up to the values characteristic of the industrial developments having unquestionable commercial profit. It's also obviously that overall construction and arrangement of a device should be maximally approached to prototype developments.

The objective of the proposed project is to develop an automatic CO2 laser tunable over lines in traditional, sequence, and hot bands with high technical characteristics, reliable operational resource of the main sites and systems, optimal construction and arrangement, and representing a prototype of a future industrial sample of an automatic tunable СO2 laser having unquestionable commercial potential.

Existing at the RFNC-FNIIEF and NSPE "ISTOK" installations and test-beds, ISTC project #216-95 results, and developed methods for measuring laser parameters are intended to accomplish successfully the project tasks.

We suppose an optimal arrangement of an industrial or prototype technological laser radiation source to be taken as a basis. In our opinion, the most acceptable construction belongs to a technological CO2 laser radiation source of the ILGN-802-type having a folded discharge tube with a length of a discharge gap Ld » 3.2 m. Such a length of a discharge gap will permit to broaden essentially a generation spectrum and to increase power values at lines in every band. However, geometrical sizes of the radiation source are nothing but 1,300 ґ 165 ґ 178 (mm). It should be noted that technological laser sources of the ILGN-type are taking a great demand in the CIS countries. In order to realize the project continuation it is necessary that the following works be carried out:

1. Taking the construction of the industrial radiator ILGN-802 as a basis, to carry out upgrading of its resonator by completing it with a beam expander and highly precise precession angular mechanism turning a diffraction comer reflector.
2. To carry out a numerical-theoretical part of works on frequency-selection loss in this type resonators, and to determine the optimal resonator configuration and necessary parameters of its optical elements.
3. То develop and fabricate nonstandard electronic devices (for new conditions).
4. To carry out a study of optimizing the generation and spectral characteristics of the CO2 laser.
5. To carry out proving tests of the main sites and blocks in automatic operation.
6. To increase operational resource of power suppliers using the modern element basis. The proposed project completely conforms to the ISTC purposes:

- it is a novel physical-technical development having attractive perspective for its future successful application in many peaceful scientific areas, at first rate, in diagnostics of active media of CO2 lasers and environmental safety;
- due to its evident commercial potential, the project is certain to assist market economy conversion in this country;
- this project stimulates involving of scientists and engineers engaged earlier in nuclear weapon design and production Russian programs in international scientific association.

Expected Results

As a result of accomplishing this project tasks, we shall create an automatic, output stabilized, tunable CO2 laser with which it will be possible to move on a new quality level of investigations in the areas of atmosphere monitoring, diagnostics of active media, spectroscopy, etc. Expected characteristics of the proposed in the project automatic tunable CO2 laser are as follows:

generation regime

single mode

number of generation lines

more than 160 in five bands (0001 - 1000, 0001 - 0200, 0002 - 1001, 0002 - 0201, 0111 - 1110)

generation power per line

0.1 – 50 W

output frequency instability per line, not mere than

10-5 cm-1

output power instability per line, not more than


This development would posses of commercial potential as both a prototype of a future industrial device for further investigations and a constituent part of a modern multicomponent gas analyzer.

Detailed description of the carried out experiments and their system analysis will be performed in reports, open publications, and patents.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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