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Photonics Dictionary

transversely excited atmosphere carbon dioxide laser (TEA CO2)

A gas laser that provides shorter pulses and higher peak powers than conventional CO2 lasers. The electrical excitation pulse occurs transversely to the optical axis between two electrodes that are placed along the length of the laser cavity (similar to the configuration of an excimer laser). The short separation distance between the electrodes allows a stable pulsed discharge to be generated in atmospheric pressure gas, thereby exciting a high concentration of CO2 molecules in a short time (a few microseconds) and the generation of a high-intensity laser pulse. This process is in contrast to other more conventional types of CO2 lasers where the electrical discharge occurs along the length of the laser tube in low-pressure gas. TEA CO2 lasers, with their shorter pulses and higher peak powers, may be viewed as lower-cost alternatives to ultraviolet excimer lasers and can be used for wire stripping, catheter drilling, pad exposure and similar precision polymer ablation in the medical device, electronics and printed circuit industries.
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