The difference between Co2 and UV laser

Release time:2021/09/15

The difference between Co2 and UV laser

Carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers and ultraviolet (UV) lasers have many differences in their working principles, applications and characteristics. Here are the main differences between them:


1. what pulse length?


1.1 CO2 laser: Its operating wavelength is usually 10.6 microns, which belongs to the far-infrared range.

1.2 Ultraviolet laser: Its working wavelength is usually between 200-400 nanometers, which belongs to the ultraviolet light range.

2. working principle:


2.1 CO2 laser: It is based on the transition of electrons between vibration energy levels of carbon dioxide molecules.

2.2 UV lasers: can be based on different materials and designs, such as from solid-state lasers (such as Nd:YAG) through frequency doubling technology.

3. Application areas:


3.1 CO2 laser: widely used in industrial cutting, welding, engraving, medical surgery and other fields. The wavelength of this laser allows it to be effectively absorbed by non-metallic materials such as wood, plastic and skin.

3.2. UV lasers: Commonly used in micromachining, microetching, medical applications (such as eye surgery) and scientific research. Due to their shorter wavelength, UV lasers enable ultra-fine processing and marking.

4. Cutting and processing quality:


4.1 CO2 Laser: Due to its longer wavelength, the heat affected zone when cutting or processing can be large, but works well for many non-metallic applications.

4.2 UV laser: Its "cold processing" capability means that it produces a very small heat-affected zone, which allows it to perform minute processing and etching without damaging the material.

5. Equipment life and stability:


5.1 CO2 lasers: generally have a long life and good stability.

5.2 UV laser: The life of the device may be affected by UV radiation and requires more maintenance and attention.

6. cost:


6.1 CO2 Lasers: Because the technology is so mature, they are economical in many applications.

6.2 UV lasers: May cost more due to their unique technology and material requirements.

The choice between the two should be based on the specific needs of the application. For example, for industrial cutting or engraving of non-metals, a CO2 laser may be the best choice, while for high-precision micromachining or certain medical applications, a UV laser may be more appropriate.

7. Co2 and UV laser service life

CO2 lasers and ultraviolet (UV) lasers are two commonly used lasers in industrial and medical applications. Their service life is affected by a variety of factors, including design, quality, usage and maintenance.


7.1 CO2 laser:


CO2 lasers are commonly used in materials processing, medical applications, and scientific research.

Its service life mainly depends on the quality and frequency of use of the laser tube. Under normal use and maintenance, the service life of a high-quality CO2 laser tube is typically between 1,000 and 10,000 hours. This means that with continuous use, it can last for years. However, improper use or maintenance may shorten its service life.

7.2 UV laser:


UV lasers are commonly used in photolithography, medical applications, materials processing and scientific research.

The service life of a UV laser may be affected by its wavelength, output power, cooling system, and other operating conditions. Generally speaking, UV lasers may have a shorter service life than CO2 lasers, especially at high power outputs and continuous operation modes. A high-quality UV laser may last between 1,000 and 5,000 hours.

As with any type of laser, to maximize its lifespan, it's best to follow these recommendations:


Follow the manufacturer's instructions for use and maintenance.

Inspect and clean equipment regularly to avoid the build-up of dust and contaminants.

Avoid operating the laser outside of specified parameters.

Use a proper cooling system to ensure the laser operates within a safe temperature range.

Finally, in order to know exactly the life expectancy of a specific make and model of laser, it is best to consult the manufacturer directly or consult the technical documentation.


8. Will UV laser marking replace CO2 lasers?


Both UV laser marking and CO2 laser marking have their own applications in industry, and they each have their own advantages and limitations. Whether it will be replaced depends on the needs of the specific application.


8.1 Advantages of ultraviolet (UV) laser marking:


Smaller focus size: Because UV lasers have shorter wavelengths, they are able to produce smaller focus sizes, allowing for higher resolution and fine marking.

Cold processing: UV laser mainly marks through photolysis and has less thermal impact on the material, which makes it particularly suitable for materials that are sensitive to thermal impact, such as certain plastics, organic materials or soft medical devices.

Clarity: For certain applications, UV lasers can provide very clear and defined markings without burning or melting.

8.2 Advantages of CO2 laser marking:


Material range: CO2 lasers respond well to many non-metallic materials, such as wood, plastic, paper and cloth.

Depth: In some applications, deeper marking may be required, which a CO2 laser can more easily provide.

Cost: Relative to UV lasers, CO2 lasers generally cost less.

Although UV laser marking may be more popular in some applications, CO2 lasers are still the first choice in many applications due to their adaptability, cost-effectiveness, and depth capabilities on a wide range of materials. In addition, the emergence of new technologies and applications may also affect the market positioning of these two technologies.


In short, although UV laser marking has clear advantages in some areas, it is difficult to predict whether it will completely replace CO2 lasers. Both will likely continue to coexist for the foreseeable future, with the choice based on the needs of a specific application.

关键词: Co2 and UV laser