Advantages of Nd-YAG laser | disadvantages of Nd-YAG laser

This page covers structure,working operation,advantages and disadvantages of Nd-YAG laser. It mentions Nd-YAG laser advantages or benefits and Nd-YAG laser disadvantages or drawbacks.

What is Nd-YAG laser?

• Its structure and working operation is similar to ruby laser.
• It uses Neodymium doped with Yttrium Aluminium Garnet (i.e. Nd:Y3Al5O12) as active material. Nd3+ ions are used to achieve necessary metastable states. It is used in various scientific and medical domains.
• Nd:YAG laser has lasing output wavelength of about 1.064 µm. This wavelength region is referred as near infrared region. The laser also emits light at other wavelengths.
• This laser type can be used in CW and pulse modes with peak power of about 1000 Watt and about 2 x 108 Watt respectively.

Nd-YAG laser

• The figure-1 depicts structure of Nd:YAG laser. As shown it consists of energy source (e.g. flashtube or laser diodes), active medium (Nd:Y3Al5O12) and optical resonator.
• Energy source supplies energy to active medium in order to achieve population inversion. Crystal is placed between the two mirrors which are optically coated or silvered.
• This laser is four-level laser system. This means four energy levels are employed in the laser action.
• Refer Nd:YAG layer >> which describes working of Nd:YAG laser.

Benefits or advantages of Nd-YAG laser

Following are the benefits or advantages of Nd-YAG laser:
➨It is very useful for thin materials for quick processing.
➨It offers high DPI capabilities.
➨It is also useful for applications which need high power density such as metal marking.
➨It offers higher energy output and very high repetition rate.
➨It is very easy to attain population inversion.
➨It can be Q-swiched for CW or pulse mode of operations. This helps in minor laser ablation process.
➨Nd:YAG laser machine can cut very high reflecting materials e.g. aluminium, copper, non-ferrous matels which can't be cut by other laser cutting machines.
➨It is easy to operate and maintain.
➨Purchasing cost is relatively lower.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Nd-YAG laser

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Nd-YAG laser:
➨It is not ideal to be used for materials which have moderate thickness.
➨Slow production is possible for thicker materials using this laser type. Hence it offers lower efficiency.
➨It has low absorption of radiation of lighter materials very close to visible spectrum.
➨It will not allow for larger scan gap inspite of high engraving resolutions. This makes the process slower.
➨Electron energy level structure of Nd3+ in YAG is complex.

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