In Les Wright’s latest video, he unveils the workings of his DIY Raman laser, a fascinating creation that involves inducing laser light through a process known as Raman scattering. Although the term “shaking” may seem like a simplified description, Raman scattering is a complex phenomenon, and Les provides an insightful explanation of it in the first half of the video. At its core, Raman scattering involves certain crystals and liquids emitting coherent, monochromatic light at a lower frequency than the pumping laser when exposed to high-intensity laser light. By carefully choosing the gain medium and pumping laser wavelength, Raman lasers can emit light at almost any wavelength.
While many gain media for Raman lasers are exotic, readily available materials can also serve the purpose. Les opted for the common solvent dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) for his laser, which he fashioned from a length of aluminum hex stock. The laser, or more accurately a resonator, was bored out, capped with quartz windows, and equipped with a port for filling it with DMSO. Placed in the path of Les’s high-power tattoo removal laser, the resonator facilitates stimulated Raman scattering in DMSO, resulting in the emission of light at 628 nm. Les utilized his Raspberry Pi spectrometer to measure the wavelengths, confirming that the emitted wavelength aligned precisely with the Raman spectrum of DMSO.
Les’s DIY Raman laser showcases the convergence of scientific principles and practical experimentation. By harnessing the power of Raman scattering and leveraging accessible materials, he not only demystifies the process but also demonstrates the versatility and adaptability of this laser technology. We might not have any high power lasers other than our laser cutters but we do have a laser pointer component that you can use in a project!
Read more: Homemade Raman Laser is Shaken, Not Stirred