Due to their higher absorption on metals, the CO laser (5.3 μm) and the HF chemical laser (2.7 (μm) afford higher efficiency in conversion from light into heat as compared to the CO2 laser. On the other hand, these two lasers can give far better optical qualities of the beams than the Nd:YAG solid state laser. These two lasers can therefore offer good alternatives for laser processing involving cw lasers like welding or cutting.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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