Four compelling reasons to replace your 325nm HeCd gas lasers

Technology developments, soaring energy costs and environmental concerns make replacement of gas lasers a compelling option.

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Traditionally if you wanted to extend your Raman spectroscopy or semiconductor inspection processes down into the UV, there was only one real laser choice between 266nm and 355nm. HeCd gas lasers operating at 325nm, while expensive to run and maintain, did the job.

Here are the four reasons you should be planning to replace your HeCd lasers as soon as possible.

 

1) New technology is available

HeCd lasers are no longer the only solution available. Recent technology developments make DPSS lasers a viable alternative for high performance applications, where previously only HeCd would be the only option.  Skylark Lasers recently launched their 320 NX DPSS laser which is a drop-in replacement for a 325 nm HeCd gas laser and it offers significantly improved performance while simultaneously increasing efficiency. Just take a look at the key spec comparison below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skylark’s 320 NX delivers linewidth that is several orders of magnitude narrower, higher power and longer coherence length, while reducing noise intensity – all of which can be critical parameters in semiconductor inspection and spectroscopy applications.

 

2) You can dramatically reduce your cost of ownership

HeCd gas lasers are expensive to run and maintain. Their power consumption is high – not good news as energy costs spiral upwards – and the need to regularly replace or refurbish the HeCd tubes really adds to the cost of ownership.

The comparison below shows some typical savings if a single HeCd laser is replaced with a DPSS laser for just one year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the upfront costs of both lasers are similar, evaluating the ongoing costs highlights where the Skylark 320 NX DPSS laser really excels. Not only is the 320 NX much more efficient with more than a factor of 100 savings on the hourly energy consumption costs, but it has also at least double the maintenance interval and a significantly lower maintenance cost.

Of course, if you have more than one HeCd laser to replace, the savings can really start to add up over a typical 10 year laser life.  

 

3) Minimize intrusive heat and noise

Another less obvious benefit of the reduced power consumption and increased efficiency of the 320 NX is a reduced cooling requirement for the system. Almost all the power that a HeCd laser draws is converted into heat that needs to be removed, typically by fan cooling.  In the case above, this equates to more than 700W of heat which is roughly half the power of a dedicated electric fan heater.  The heat and noise generated can have a performance impact on systems containing a HeCd laser, as well as the local environment and user comfort.  The Skylark 320 NX has much more modest cooling requirements, remaining quiet and minimally impacting the ambient temperature.

Your process staff will thank you for the improvement.

 

4) Be kinder to the environment

Last but not least, the cadmium contained in the HeCd tubes means that the lasers are neither RoHS nor REACH compliant, making their integration in to larger commercial systems problematic and their disposal challenging and expensive. The Skylark 320 NX eliminates these issues by being fully RoHS and REACH compliant.

In summary, if you are currently operating a 325nm HeCd gas laser and want to increase efficiency, reduce cost of ownership and eliminate the environmental issues, take a look at Skylark's new 320 NX laser. There has never been a more compelling time to make the change.