Argon Lasers- What Are They and What Do They Do?

Argon lasers certainly sound futuristic, but the facts are that they are readily available today and not too difficult to find.  They are also quite proven, as Hughes Aircraft invented them back in 1964 and they have been used ever since.  Today, argon lasers still have a wide variety of uses and applications.  In this article, we will explore these lasers in greater depth and discover some of the many uses of these flexible tools.


Diverse Uses for this Type of Ion Laser

An argon laser is a type of ion laser.  In the decades since its invention, it has been put to use in a wide range of applications and industries.  Argon lasers are successfully used every day in everything form research and development to education, medical testing, image recording and more.  


The Krypton Laser and Security Applications

Another type of ion laser, which could be considered a cousin to the argon laser is the krypton laser.  The krypton laser is used in both medicine and for security applications.  In the security field, krypton lasers are used for the creation of security holograms.


Lasers and Retinal Phototherapy 

Argon lasers are used extensively in medicine, specifically retinal phototherapy.  Diabetics can often suffer from blurred vision, and this issue can eventually lead to blindness.  Diabetic retinopathy occurs when a blood vessel in the retina is somehow damaged.  Additionally, cataracts and glaucoma are other issues.  

Where does retinal phototherapy come into play?  This procedure can be used to treat retinal vascular disease. The light produced from argon lasers can be used to make actual physical changes to the eyes, which are beneficial and therapeutic.  


Laser Pumping

Another key use of argon lasers is for “pumping other lasers.”  What does “pumping other lasers” mean exactly?  Laser pumping is a means to transfer energy from an external source into a laser medium.  In turn, the medium absorbs energy and this, in turn, excites atoms, increasing the power of the laser.


Lasers and Raman Spectroscopy, Flow Cytometry and More

Other uses of argon lasers include raman spectroscopy, flow cytometry, the inspection of equipment and image recording, amongst many others.  Raman spectroscopy is commonly used in chemistry and solid-state physics and has many advantages over microscopic analysis.  

In biotechnology, lasers are used in flow cytometry.  Flow cytometry involves cell counting, biomarketer detection, and protein engineering.  Flow cytometry is thus very useful in medical diagnosis and, in particular, with blood cancers.  Adding to the diverse ways that lasers contribute is the fact that they are also used in the inspection of equipment and image recording.


An Exciting and Varied Future for Lasers

In the future, there is no doubt that the role of lasers will continue to grow.  The laser is a highly flexible tool that is increasingly being deployed and used in more and more diverse and interesting ways.  From security holograms to medical advances in the biotechnology section, lasers are playing an invaluable role and that role is poised to only grow in the coming decades.

See also Argon Gas Lasers


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