The CRIS beamline has just taken delivery of a new laser, thanks to a £40k Ernest Rutherford Fellowship grant from STFC. Manufactured by UK specialists, Litron Lasers Ltd, the new laser will enable researchers to look at shorter-lived, more exotic isotopes.
The specification for the new laser was put together by Ernest Rutherford Fellow, Thomas Cocolios (Manchester). Initially, Thomas was looking for several portable lasers that, between them, would deliver flexibility for experimental set-ups and the capability to capture data faster – at the moment the existing lasers allow the team to capture data every 100 ms, but the new laser will cut this to 10 ms.
Based on Litron’s modular approach to building bespoke lasers, the sales team looked at Thomas’ wish list and came up with a better idea; the result is a device with two lasers that can be operated separately or together. “Thomas wanted several lasers, but this one does everything. It’s upgradeable, flexible and easy to use.”
Thomas and his colleagues are clearly keen to get started with the new laser, “It’s perfectly designed for physicists!” he says, pointing out the simplicity of the connection points and demonstrating how quickly it can be switched on for use. Litron incorporated a number of features that are normally only available on fixed installation lasers including the ability to control the laser from a hand held device, or remotely via existing software.
When you’re making very precise measurements, the slightest vibration can affect your data. For the new laser, that meant mounting it on INVAR rails and using a water- cooled power supply, to provide both thermal and mechanical stability. It also reduces the noise and heat dissipated to the surrounding environment. It’s the first time that Litron has used a water-cooled system for a portable laser.
There are cost benefits, too. “The new laser is more versatile and cheaper than the specification that we were originally going to buy,” says Thomas. Time spent designing the laser will have benefits for Litron too. “No-one else makes a portable dual-beam laser quite like this,” explains James McDowell, Worldwide Business Development Manager. “This design is going to be really popular with our other customers.”
‘This article from UK News from CERN is reprinted with permission of the editor’
You may also be interested in these interesting research papers where Litron Lasers have been invaluable in Spectroscopy research here …
Litron Nano T 250-10 http://www.nature.com/articles/srep32134
Litron LPY704G-10 http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0022-3727/45/36/365401