Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Lasers
The CO2 laser is a gas discharge device and it operates by electric excitation of an active medium that is a mixture of helium, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The earlier industrial CO2 lasers consisted of glass tubes and mirrors on both the ends. The laser gases flowed down the tubes while electricity was applied near each mirror. This type is known as slow - flow lasers and are highly stable. The second type known as transverse flow lasers were developed to produce higher power as compared to slow - flow lasers. The currently used type is known as fast axial flow lasers and are able to deliver very high powers required for manufacturing purposes. This is an improved version of the first type with efficient gas cooling design.