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Intense pulsed light
Hugues Cartier, A. Le Pillouer-Prost, and Saib Norlazizi
Principle of Operation: Light, Laser,
and Intense Pulsed Light
For practical purposes, we can use a color coding system to identify optical filters to be used for specific indications
Electrical Energy and Optical Spectrum
The main difference between a laser and an intense pulsed
light (IPL) is physics: the first one emits a coherent, monochromatic light (one wavelength measured in nanometers
[nm]), whereas the second emits a polychromatic, noncoherent light (a spectral band, e.g., from 550 to 950 nm). The
wavelength of a laser can be drawn as one color, whereas the
spectral band of IPL is composed of all the colors of the rainbow (Figure 37.1).
Flashlamps or IPLs are discharge lamps of high intensity filled with a noble gas, mostly xenon, most rarely krypton.
These light sources produce an optical radiation when an electric current is passed through the ionized xenon gas at high
pressure. IPLs are very efficient and convert over 70% of electrical energy into light, compared to the best laser efficiency of
17% produced by CO2 lasers.
The intense radiation of these lamps has been utilized in
various medical and nonmedical applications: optical pumping of laser systems (Nd:YAG, dye lasers, Q-switched lasers,
frequency-doubled lasers 532 nm, etc.), simulation of solar
radiation, absorption measurement or fluorescence, photocopy
units, stroboscopes, and IPLs themselves.
The glass or quartz of the flashlamp is made up of