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I'm working on a senior undergraduate project in engineering physics, and I am building an instrument that will use a Q-switched laser as a short-pulse, low-pulse-repetition-rate light source. We need to be able to control the timing of the Q-switch, the light needs to be visible spectrum (< 750nm, preferably 523nm), and the maximum pulse width (FWHM) is 15ns. Power requirements are modest, as we are using it as a light source for a camera.

Can anyone provide some advice on buying cheap (< 1000USD) active Q-switching lasers or maybe converting an off-the shelf laser diode into a Q-switched one?

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  • $\begingroup$ Related meta post: meta.physics.stackexchange.com/q/795/2451 $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Sep 25 '15 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ Depends a lot on how much light you really need, what beam characteristics are required (temporal or spatial), and whatnot. Rather than a classic Q-switched laser (ruby lasers baby!) with all that entails, you might consider a visible laser diode (or even just an LED) and a fast current pulse. You are not looking for long lifetime equipment it would seem, so you can overdrive the devices for a pulse, then let it cool for a while before the next pulse. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Sep 25 '15 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ Cross-posted on Engineering: engineering.stackexchange.com/q/5557/16 $\endgroup$ – GlenH7 Sep 26 '15 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ findlight.net/lasers/solid-state-lasers/dpss $\endgroup$ – Chris Mueller Sep 28 '15 at 12:20

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