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The Components of a Laser Diode

A laser diode, similar to LED, is comprised of a junction between two semiconductors (+,-). This junction is known as a p-n junction. There is also a terminal to collect electricity and a lens to focus the laser beam. These semiconductors are incredibly small, made of very thin slices of semiconducting material, and are very carefully manufactured so as to create a perfect p-n junction.

Producing The Beam
Lasers are monochromatic,they have only one frequency. Laser itself is an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation." For a laser to function, many photons of light of the same frequency must travel in the same direction. In a laser diode, the light is emitted because there are both electrons, in the positive substance, and holes (the absence of electrons) in the negative substance. When the positive substance is charged, the electrons in the positive substance jump to fill the holes in the negative substance. when the electrons jump, they lose energy in the form of photons, which are light quanta. These photons are all produced simultaneously. Because all the electrons jumped down to fill holes in a certain semiconducting material, all of the photons are of the same frequency and direction. This causes a laser beam to form and come out through the lens of the laser diode.

The Use of Laser Diodes
Laser diodes are used in most laser pointers. This also makes them great for DVD and CD players because both use small lasers to read their disks. However, laser diodes generally do not produce much power, making them far too weak to be used industrially.


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