Laser Update

We switched out the broken laser with another one and output power improved dramatically. I think the dye may be degrading, but the physics post-doc doesn’t have a clue…does anyone out there know anything about the lifetimes of laser dyes (particularly rhodamine 590)? Now, of course, the frequency doubler output power is too low. I left the post-doc to work on that one and ran an SiH3I synthesis.

This synthesis is part of the original project I was given as an undergraduate researcher. I’m supposed to make silyl ether, (SiH3)2O, from silyl iodide and water, but I have to make the silyl iodide myself from phenylsilane and hydrogen iodide:

C6H5SiH3 + HI –> C6H6 + SiH3I (195 K)

And the hydrogen iodide from iodine, water, and red phosphorus:

8 H2O + 5 I2 + 2 P –> 10 HI + H3PO4 (RT)

I’ve grown to despise these reactions, but watching the post-doc tinker with the laser is just that dull.



  1. Last time I was around your boss he mentioned that the quantum yield for processes leading to degradation had to be very, very small in order for something to make a decent laser dye. It’s not my area, though, so I don’t know anything about it.
    You’re 21 now, right? You need to come back out with us for another drinking lunch soon. 🙂


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