This laser has its roots in the STTR grant that I had with OPOTEK starting in 2001 (awarded when I was at Emory but moved immediately to LSU in the first year of Phase I). Our goal was to build an OPO with the capabilities of the Mirage 3000B but in a smaller package.
The left port gives access to the Nd:YAG laser fundamental at 1064 nm and the right port is the 2940 nm mid-IR at about 3 mJ per pulse at 20 Hz. Plenty of energy when focused to efficiently ablate thin films (similar to our wavelength tunable IR Opolette which you can see ablating things here.)
Macro photographs of droplets for laser ablation sample transfer.
In March of 2009, I visited McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana to give a talk and visit my collaborator Prof. Mark Merchant, “the alligator man”. Mark gave me a tour of his alligator holding facilities on campus.
Mark wanted to get this alligator to open its mouth so that I could get a good photo.
Sure enough, the alligator did open his mouth. Note Chemistry Department Head Ron Darbeau who was on the proper side of the fence during all of this. I was 15 feet away and the gate was open.
In the next cage over, Mark scooped out a handful of baby alligators.
I call the one on the right “Bitey” – he clamped down on my knuckle when I unwisely offered it to him.