The unrivaled combination of efficiency and selectivity of the resonance-ionization process has made laser ion sources a mainstay of Isotope Separator On-Line (ISOL) facilities. The growing demand for laser-ionized beams has necessitated the use of increasingly robust laser systems, which are capable of operating continuously, and possess a long mean time between failures.
Such stringent reliability requirements are commonplace in the industrial sector, where lasers used for machining applications typically operate around-the-clock. To meet our industrial-level demand, we have therefore taken advantage of the range of machining lasers that have emerged in recent years . Whilst these systems typically satisfy the reliability requirements, only a few satisfy the particular performance characteristics needed for laser-ion-source applications. At ISOL facilities, the industry-grade lasers are extensively used for tunable-laser pumping and non-resonant ionization . Laser-induced breakup of molecular species released from targets is currently under investigation. Optimal performance for each foreseeable ISOL application requires a range of specific sets of laser-pulse characteristics: pulse width, energy, repetition rate, beam quality, and linewidth. This contribution will present an overview of our current practical experience of industrial lasers used for laser-ion-source applications.
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