CO2-based medical lasers
From the beginning, the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser was considered highly reliable, and precise in medical applications. The CO2 laser process can be described as follows: a CO2 laser consists of a gas mixture which includes nitrogen, helium, CO2, xenon or water vapor and sometimes hydrogen. The gas mixture acts as a gain medium, and the laser is pumped through an electrical discharge. During the electrical discharge, the nitrogen molecules are excited to their metastable vibration state, and they collide with the CO2 molecules to transfer their energy. The CO2 laser can be operated within a radio frequency range, using AC or DC current. The laser emits an infrared light at standard wavelengths of 9.6 and 10.6 micrometers.
Early general laser developments occurred in 1964 by Bell Labs. Further, CO2 lasers date back over 40 years for applications in medicine, and in 1984 CO2 lasers were approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). CO2 lasers are considered one of today’s most powerful continuous lasers. As a function of how the power is being applied in such lasers, the gas discharge medium is either water or air cooled and applications include a number of uses in medicine and dentistry.
... to continue reading you must be subscribed