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Visible Lasers

Definition: lasers (or other laser-based light sources) emitting visible light

More general terms: lasers

More specific terms: red lasers, yellow and orange lasers, green lasers, blue lasers

German: sichtbar emittierende Laser

Categories: nonlinear optics, laser devices and laser physics

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The term visible lasers is used to denote lasers emitting visible light, or sometimes laser devices generating visible light via nonlinear frequency conversion. Visible light (for human eyes) corresponds to optical wavelengths roughly between 400 nm and 700 nm.

Lasers with Direct Visible Emission

Laser which directly emit visible light constitute a minority – most lasers emit in the infrared spectral region. Some examples of solid-state lasers emitting visible light are:

There are also various gas lasers emitting visible light:

  • The helium–neon laser was the first gas laser with visible emission. It can emit on various visible wavelengths, including the well-known 632.8 nm red wavelength but also in the green (543.5 nm), yellow (594.1 nm) and orange (604.6, 611.9 nm) spectral region.
  • Helium–cadmium lasers (→ metal vapor lasers) emit in the blue at 441.6 nm.
  • Argon ion lasers emit mostly at 514.5 and 488 nm, but also at 465.8, 472.7 and 528.7 nm.
  • Krypton ion lasers emit at various wavelengths throughout the visible spectrum, in particular at 647.1 nm and 530.9 nm.
  • Copper vapor lasers (→ metal vapor lasers) emit at 510.6 nm (green) or 578.2 nm (yellow).

Finally, various dye lasers have broad emission ranges throughout the visible spectral region.

See also the articles on red, green and blue lasers.

Visible Laser Systems Based on Nonlinear Frequency Conversion

Various methods allow the generation of visible light in laser diodes via nonlinear frequency conversion:

Questions and Comments from Users


How does the laser in a digital cinema projector work?

Answer from the author:

There are different technical approaches. For example, they may use a powerful infrared laser combined with nonlinear frequency conversion to get red, green and blue light – see the article on RGB sources.

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See also: red lasers, yellow and orange lasers, green lasers, blue lasers, nonlinear frequency conversion, intracavity frequency doubling, Raman lasers, supercontinuum generation, white light sources
and other articles in the categories nonlinear optics, laser devices and laser physics


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