Applications of Xenon Lamps

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Xenon lamps are widely used in scientific research. They can take the form of flash (pulsed) lamps or continuous wave (CW) lamps. One of the main advantages of xenon flash lamps is their ability to provide high optical light energy in a short pulse (a few microseconds), producing high peak power.

Due to their broad and continuous spectra (200nm – 2.5um), xenon lamps can be used for laser light pumping, absorbance measurements, scattering, and more. Xenon lamps can also be used for illumination, whether for scientific microscopy or cameras. It is also crucial to note that Xenon light sources are so many such as the PAX 10, all of which, usually help in achieving the following: 

Absorbance

Material absorbance is an essential scientific technique. It can be used to study energy levels, energy transfer mechanisms, and more. Several experiments must be conducted to calculate a material sample’s absorbance with a xenon lamp light source. Users must measure the initial light intensity (I), the light transmitted via the model (T), and the light reflected from the sample (R). The difference I – (R+T) is the amount of light absorbed by the model. 

In practice, it is incredibly complicated to measure separately all the transmitted and reflected light components. One effective method to overcome this complication is to use integrating spheres. By measuring the spectra at the output port of two spheres, one empty and the other filled with the material sample, we can determine both the I and (R+T) components and successfully calculate the absorption.

Reflection

Xenon lamps make it possible to measure a material’s broadband reflection. This can determine, for example, the material’s surface emissivity (an ideal black body emissivity is defined as 1 for all wavelengths). One of the most common techniques for this measurement is to use an integrating sphere. The sample under test is placed at an output port and irradiated by a collimated light source. Then, the integrating sphere collects the reflected light.

Xenon flash lamps can also be used to measure the reflection of an excited state. Initially exciting the sample and then measuring the reflection of a second delayed pulse within the excited particle’s lifetime accomplish this.

Optical Excitation

In addition to studying energy levels, xenon lamps can also be used to pump a laser’s active medium optically. In 1960, Theodore Maiman built the first working three-level laser using a xenon flash lamp as the pump source for a ruby rod. The xenon lamp intensity was enough to overcome a three-level laser ground state and achieve population inversion.

Another use of xenon lamps is as an excitation source in hyperspectral imaging microscopes. This utilizes the broad spectral range and high intensity of xenon lamps.

Medical

Xenon lamps are used as the light source in xenon-based hair removal machines, for example as PAX 10. These use the principle of selective absorbance of the melanin in hair follicles underneath the skin. Heating the hair follicles damages them and results in hair removal. Scientists and doctors also use Ultraviolet (UV) light from xenon lamps for medical sterilization.