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What is a continuous laser and a pulsed laser, and what is the difference?

Issuing time:2020-11-20 10:33

Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (abbreviated as LASER, or LASER) is known as "LASER" or "LASER" in Hong Kong and Macao regions, and "LASER" or "LASER" in Taiwan region, refers to the Light generated and amplified by Stimulated Radiation, that is, the Light amplified by Stimulated Radiation. It is characterized by excellent monochromatism, minimal divergence and high luminance (power). To produce a laser, three elements are needed: the excitation source, the gain medium and the resonance structure.


A mechanical form such as a wave (electric/light wave, etc.) that is emitted at regular intervals.

The laser pulse

It refers to a pulse of light emitted by a laser that works in the way that a flashlight works. To put it simply, just as a flashlight works, closing the button all the time is a continuous operation, closing the switch and turning it off immediately is a "pulse of light". It is necessary to work with pulses, such as sending signals, reducing heat production, etc. Laser pulses can be extremely short, such as the "picosecond" level, which means the pulse time is on the order of picoseconds, and a picosecond is a trillionth of a second (10e-12 seconds)

Continuous laser

The laser pump source continuously provides energy and produces a laser output over a long period of time, resulting in a continuous laser. The output power of continuous laser is generally low, which is suitable for the occasions requiring continuous laser work (such as laser communication, laser surgery, etc.)

Pulsed laser

Pulse working mode refers to the mode that only works once every certain time interval.

Pulse laser has a large output power, suitable for laser marking, cutting, ranging and so on.

Common pulse laser: solid laser yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) laser, ruby laser, sapphire laser, neodymium glass laser. There are nitrogen molecular laser, excimer laser and so on.

Giant pulse laser

The artificial loss in the cavity is greater than the gain of the working material, and there is no laser output. However, under the constant excitation of the pump source, the number of atoms in the upper level of the laser becomes more and more, and the larger number of particles is reversed. If the peak power is defined as the energy of the pulse divided by the duration of the pulse (pulse width), then a pulse laser with a narrow pulse width and a high peak power, often called a giant pulse, will be generated in a very short time at a very fast speed without artificial input loss.

As the name suggests, continuous laser adopts the laser output time is continuous, the output of pulse laser is discontinuous, the shortest commercial energy to a few femtoseconds magnitude, so pulse laser is often used to measure the ultrafast physical process. But continuous lasers also have the advantage that by stabilizing the frequency, you can get a very narrow line width, which can be used for laser ranging, fine spectrum.

The peak power difference between the two is quite large. In the continuous laser, the better semiconductor laser can achieve the order of 100 W, while the pulse laser can achieve the order of TW now in the femtosecond. The shorter the pulse width is, the less thermal effect is.

Peak power = monopulse energy/pulse width;

Average power = monopulse energy * repetition frequency.

The pulse width of the laser is to the pulsed laser or the quasi-continuous laser, simply speaking, it can be understood as the action time of a laser pulse or the duration of a laser pulse per emission. The repetition rate is the number of pulses emitted by the laser per second. For example, 10Hz means 10 laser pulses emitted per second. But the pulse width of each laser pulse varies depending on the laser, whether it is nanosecond or subtle or millisecond.

Laser line width is characteristic of laser monochromaticity, the narrower the line width, the better the laser monochromaticity!

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