Copper (Br) Vapour Laser

For those interested in Copper Vapour lasers; 

I have developed this site to show others  a commercial Copper Vapour laser, shown both with covers taken off and working. 

This laser is an ex-medical unit used to remove skin marks and port wine stains. I managed to acquire the laser at a very reasonable price with  the intentions to convert it into a source for beam effects in laser displays.

There are a number of complex electronic control PCBs within the unit, which control the thyratron, High-Voltage power supply, Heaters, etc. I have been further advised that these units were connected to a console (Computer) that controlled the laser when installed in the medical practice. The console controlled the pulse (delivered to the patient), pulse width, power, colour, and also monitored the heaters of the laser... Unfortunately I did not receive these with the laser.

One of the PCBs control the heater temperature of the laser Tube / Bromide Store. There are three heaters which apparently are controlled electronically via software and Digital controlled pots, or there are three manual pots that can be adjusted but have been recommended against this as the bromide can be unevenly depleted out of the vessels.


It has been an invaluable learning tool, and come to think of it, where do you get 10 Watts of exotic golden -green and yellow laser light from 240 Volts input ?

The entire unit is around 1.2 meters long, 200mm wide and around 300mm high. The unit weighs in at around 30-40kg. These units sold for over $90,000 new.

The output of this laser is very impressive - nothing like that out of an Argon, or a high-power DPSS laser. This laser produces the most exotic emerald green and yellow light. The beam diameter is much larger that that of a typical laser at around 18mm diameter - its large. I have had this laser shine out of my garage door into the night, at 10 meters, you can feel a very nice warm feeling - Yes, you can actually feel the heat at this distance (the beam is much larger of course). At 2 meters from the output, I had placed a piece of cardboard, and in around 1 min to 2 min, the laser had managed to burn a hole through it - VERY impressive considering the size of the beam.

Focusing of the laser was dangerous, its intensity is uncomfortable to look at even with the unfocused beam, focusing just concentrated the beam, and it became a knife of light.

Below, I have included the specifications of the laser, with a link to the photos, please be patient with the loading, as I have ensured that the photos are clear.

Laser Details / Specifications:

Laser Tube:   Sealed Quartz with Quartz windows.
Lasing Medium: Copper Bromide (II)
Wavelength:   578.2nm (Yellow), 510.6 (Green)  
Output Power:  8 Watts (Typical), 10 Watts (Max)
Power Distribution: 2.5 Watts @ 578.2nm, 5.5 Watts @ 510.6nm
Beam Diameter: 18mm
Pulse Frequency: 16kHz
Pulse Width:    30ns
Input Power:   240 Volts @ 10 Amps
Laser Cooling:  Air Cooled
Tube: 800 - 1000 Hours
Thyratron:   500 Hours (Min)
Current Hours:         190 Hours

Please Click HERE to see photos of the laser.

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