The LEXEL™ laser head combines the plasma tube,
resonator structure, and laser optics
in the most advanced, compact and functional design. An extensive
engineering effort was expended to perfect each component in the laser head.
The resulting package yields unmatched stability, reliability, and ease of
operation, along with the most advanced safety features.
laser head components and features described below are the same in all LEXEL™
models The different power level lasers differ only in the size of the
plasma tube, length of the laser resonator and the specific laser mirrors.
To view a close-up
picture of a LEXEL™ laser head, click the photo at right.
plasma tube with
exclusive Be0 ceramic and metal construction is
the strongest, most compact and most reliable design available for ion
stainless steel gas supply tank maintains operating gas pressure with no
need for fill valves or pressure monitoring.
extremely compact electromagnet provides the high axial magnetic field
required for efficient plasma tube operation.
assembly also serves as a water cooling jacket completely enclosing the
plasma tube so that the heat is efficiently removed from the laser head
without affecting the optical resonator structure.
removal is so effective that there is less than a 3°C temperature
variation along the laser head. Run your hand over the case of a LEXEL™
laser operating at full power: it is scarcely possible to detect the thermal
change. Do the same thing with other commercial ion lasers and there will be
definite hot areas near the ends of the plasma tube. The beneficial effect
on amplitude and beam-pointing stability is just as dramatic.
holds the plasma tube and optics in precise alignment and provides the
ultimate in low thermal expansion and solid mechanical stability
exclusive, patented seal protects the optical cavity from dust and
contamination. It is so effective that LEXEL™ lasers commonly operate one
to two years without needing optical cleaning.
intracavity shutter (patent pending) conveniently blocks all laser
output with a flick of the lever. Magnetic coupling through the optical dust
cover maintains complete seal integrity. It complies with CDRH requirements.
mirror retainer provides access to the transmitter mirror and has 3/4"-32
threads for attaching accessories An optional 1"-32 adapter is also
highly visible indicator provides a warning whenever the laser is
operational. It complies with CDRH standards.
interlock turns off the laser if the cover is removed from the laser head.
Its purpose is to prevent accidental exposure to dangerous voltages or any
laser radiation that could exist inside the laser head cover.
indication, as required by CDRH standards, is provided if the head cover is
removed and the safety interlock defeated.
operating time accumulated on the plasma tube is recorded here, enabling the
laser user to easily monitor tube life.
electrical wiring and water hoses are neatly housed in a flexible
interconnection cable which disconnects at the
LEXEL™ Model 503
Temperature Controlled Etalon Assembly mounts directly on the Invar®
rod resonator structure using the same type of kinematic suspension system
used to mount the laser mirrors. This patented etalon design is solidly
integrated into the optical system to yield the most stable
obtainable from an ion laser.
printed circuit card electronics hold the etalon oven temperature to the
precise level required for single frequency control.
the cover allows access to any component in the laser head. Everything is
accessible down to the base plate.
adjustable feet will allow the height of the laser to be adjusted over a 15
mm range. The feet can also be removed and the laser bolted into position
using the 1/4"-20 tapped holes.
such as Original Equipment Manufacturers who purchase a quantity of lasers
to be built into their equipment can have special variations to the laser
head. Such variations may include different size base plate, slightly
different component layout or a non-enclosed system.