Pulsed Light Sources

Pulsed Light Sources


Pulsed light sources are used to produce single or periodically repeated bursts of light lasting from fractions of a microsecond to several tens of milliseconds.

Pulsed light sources are subdivided into two types depending on the method of conversion of various types of energy into light radiation. The first category includes devices that use the light radiation of low-temperature plasma, obtained by means of a condensed spark discharge in gases, exploding wires, and the pinch effect. The action of sources of the second type is based on the short excitation of a phosphor as a result of the passage of an electric current through it or on irradiation by an electron beam. Optical frequency oscillators (pulsed lasers) may serve as pulsed light sources. Flash lamps (with an efficiency of conversion of electric energy into light energy of up to 50–70 percent), which are pulsed light sources of the first type, have found widest application as pulsed light sources.

Pulsed light sources are used in automation and remote control in devices that have channels of light control and data transmission, in optical radar and communications, in optical telephony, in range finders, and in thickness gauges. Devices with pulsed light sources for obtaining timing marks, photorecording, the manufacture of clichés, and other purposes have been developed. Pulsed light sources are used in photochemistry for the photolysis, photosynthesis, and study of excited quantum states of atomic and molecular particles. All types of pulsed light sources have found broad application for pumping the active media of optical frequency oscillators.

The improvement of pulsed light sources has been directed toward increasing the intensity and efficiency of radiation in certain spectral bands, expanding the range of controllability, and increasing reliability and operating life.


Marshak, I.S. Impul’snye istochniki sveta. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.

Rokhlin, G.N. Gazorazriadnye istochniki sveta. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.


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Note these micro-thermal gradients and selective photo thermolysis effects exist only for super pulsed light sources.
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Spectra from all 8 channels may be gathered at precisely the same time, making the card ideal for applications involving pulsed light sources and transient spectral events.
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Cathodeon manufactures a wide range of continuous, modulated, and pulsed light sources covering the 100nm to 2000nm spectral range.

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