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Thread: Fluorescent Dye Mod

  1. #1
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    Default Fluorescent Dye Mod

    There have been many attempts to fabricate solid/plastic dye lasers over the last 15 years. This led to the development of new boron fluoride dyes that are way more efficient than the old work horses; the xanthenes like rhodamine. The problem is that they are still not as efficient as diodes, are degraded when pumped in the presence of oxygen and are much more expensive. They must still be pumped optically and so have not been pursued very actively.

    However, I decided to get some and play around with them. They are indeed impressive and the three different compounds each fluorsece so brightly under room light (and to be fair,so does RG590) that you swear they have some internal power source. Where this gets exciting is that I have been able to modify the RG6 with one of these dyes. The results are a little unreal. The absorption bands DO NOT overlap, but the fluorescence bands do and so if it is possible the new dye is even brighter under room light and the fluorescence under the spectrometer is greater. This spectrometer reading is despite my poor UV light source that in fact does not cover the full absorption spectrum of the combination very well. I am waiting for a better UV lamp and I need more solvent before I can flush a laser and try out the new dye, but its a little hard to sleep!

    I am also going to try to distill my used dye solutions. The purchase of reagent grade solvents and the disposal of the mixes that are still quite good, but unusable due to some additive or modification is inconvenient and getting very expensive. So, with the construction of the fractionating column etc, I am thinking more seriously than ever about getting into moonshine.

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    very interesting. i've always been fascinated by dye lasers, but put off experimenting with them due to the potential mess and health issues of some of the dyes.

    what will you be using as your pump source?

    Quote Originally Posted by planters View Post
    There have been many attempts to fabricate solid/plastic dye lasers over the last 15 years. This led to the development of new boron fluoride dyes that are way more efficient than the old work horses; the xanthenes like rhodamine. The problem is that they are still not as efficient as diodes, are degraded when pumped in the presence of oxygen and are much more expensive. They must still be pumped optically and so have not been pursued very actively.

    However, I decided to get some and play around with them. They are indeed impressive and the three different compounds each fluorsece so brightly under room light (and to be fair,so does RG590) that you swear they have some internal power source. Where this gets exciting is that I have been able to modify the RG6 with one of these dyes. The results are a little unreal. The absorption bands DO NOT overlap, but the fluorescence bands do and so if it is possible the new dye is even brighter under room light and the fluorescence under the spectrometer is greater. This spectrometer reading is despite my poor UV light source that in fact does not cover the full absorption spectrum of the combination very well. I am waiting for a better UV lamp and I need more solvent before I can flush a laser and try out the new dye, but its a little hard to sleep!

    I am also going to try to distill my used dye solutions. The purchase of reagent grade solvents and the disposal of the mixes that are still quite good, but unusable due to some additive or modification is inconvenient and getting very expensive. So, with the construction of the fractionating column etc, I am thinking more seriously than ever about getting into moonshine.
    suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

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    I have several dye lasers. One is a small converted medical dye laser (Cynosure PV), a LS 600 driven by a converted LS800 (soon, by something more powerful) And a completely custom high energy unit that is my primary focus now. For anyone wanting to get into dyes, I would recommend the used medical route. These things are so simple that 20 years in the field and no matter what they did you can get most up and running by ripping off 50% of the unnecessary electronics and controls and repairing what is broken with hardware store components. But, you don't have to attempt to reinvent the laser from scratch with the hope of a feeble spot on the wall using dissolved Expo markers.

    These lasers are broad band enough that with a few common dyes you can span yellow to red with the same optics, just exchange the fluids. The xanthenes are pretty safe and you can use vodka (good vodka) as the solvent.

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    one of these days i would like to experiment with dye as well.
    you mentioned that you needed a better UV source? what spectrum are you looking for? I am assuming this is not to pump the laser but to just check the dye.
    Polk SDA SRS, Parasound HCA 3500, Luxman M117, Onkyo 504, 7.62X39, sometimes a ball on a string is the greatest of toys for us nonhuman types. oh and some lasers, lots of lasers

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    Optimally, I would want a broadband white light source as the feed light for the spectrograph. A MH bulb works well through the visible, but for the UV I've been at a loss. LEDs and Florescent lamps are line emitters. A medium pressure Hg lamp would be good, but is prohibitively expensive. Even a Xe short arc lamp is costly, so this might be a reasonable alternative.

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    Five-six foot tall 3-4" diameter steel pipe. Fill with clean stainless steel wool for reflux levels, with air gaps between reflux stages. Install temperature sensors at each reflux level, probing inside the pipe. Insulate upper levels well. Monitor temperature of off going vapor with fast TC sensor. This helps you dump the nasty "tails" to a separate condenser for disposal. Place sensitive pressure gauge at upper level, but keep it from getting too hot. Important to drive the reboiler just hot enough to start reflux at lower stages, then walk it up the column for steady state. One other key trick is having down-comer tubes to return reflux to lower levels if a level
    gets saturated.
    .
    Build two, One for concentrated dyes, one for the final product. Stainless wool worked great for a EE friend. Once he figured out how to instrument it, produced very high purity alcohol for a fuel experiment.
    .

    We teach a course in this here using a three story glass still and a methanol/water mix. Stills are highly dependent on what packing media is in the tube and how it is arranged. Most profs here like short pieces of ~15 mm glass tubing for the reflux media on big stills.
    .
    I really like glass tubes because you can fly it manually and see when to pump in more raw material to the reboiler. However the stainless steel wool has magic all its own for refluxing certain verities of ethanol.
    .
    Note for "revenuers" reading this, my friends wife had him dismantle this widget of his and go to AA, after quiting cold turkey... He no longer drinks.

    Steve
    Last edited by mixedgas; 11-08-2015 at 14:11.
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    Steve,

    Now, what do you know. You have just hit the nail a 180. The distiller I am building for the dye uses a pair of glass re-fluxing columns. I like watching the process and tweaking when necessary. I love the aesthetics of a lab with slowly boiling reagents in the background while adjusting optics or soldering components (distiller is sealed). What do you think about my moving my notes from legal pads and index cards to a leather bound tome with nicely yellowing velum. Maybe a small organ and a bird...

    However, I've recently gotten into making hard cider. Apples are abundant in New England and I've gotten some positive reviews. For Thanksgiving, I want to distill some and your SS column might be perfect. I don't' think ultra-separation is the goal for potable ETOH; it might remove too much flavor. But throughput is important. Maybe the neighbors will actually start to appreciate the mysterious activities on the mountain. If not, well I'll still have the bird.

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    My friend caught a bit of the paranoid survivalist bug too. He got cured of that, too. But what else can you do with ~4000 pounds of sweet potatoes grown on a hillside in the heartland. His goal was food and fuel... Don't get me started on the cows and electric fences between the driveway and the laser lab.
    .

    .
    .

    "Anyway, like I was sayin', Sweet Potato is the fruit of the Hill. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, Sweet potato kabobs, Sweet Potato creole, Sweet potato gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple sweet potato, lemon sweet potato, coconut sweet potato, pepper sweet potato, sweet potato soup, sweet potato stew, sweet potato salad, sweet potato and potatoes, sweet potato burger, sweet potato pie, sweet potato sandwich. That- that's about it."
    .
    .

    The headings and tailings are the part that make you sick, strongly contribute to the hangover, and mostly poisonous in one way or another.
    .
    Y'll know the above is Forrest Gump Paraphrased.
    .
    When I went and visited, the mini-van came home full of sweet potato, had to stop and find a dumpster for about 100 pounds to make room for the laser.
    .
    You have to dilute the ultra pure stuff with some water or it will kill you. However just enough flavor remains.. I'm not a drinker, either.. But I like smooth.
    .


    Steve
    Last edited by mixedgas; 11-09-2015 at 08:21.
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    Yes, apples have a limited amount of sugar. The yeast dies/goes dormant from starvation as opposed to ETOH toxicity. The taste is remarkably like champagne. It's hard to detect the apples and it is very dry/astringent. The low alcohol content means you need to run through a lot when distilling and you'd get full before you got drunk on the cider itself.

    I cannot obtain pure ETOH for my laser. It will work,but not as well in the presence of H20, isopropyl alcohol and methanol. I can obtain denatured ETOH that is specified to contain only methanol and isopropyl as contaminants. The methanol should be reduced or eliminated by a careful fractionation as these form a zeotropic mixture. I'm not sure about the isopropyl.

    Back to the OP. Do you REALIZE the implications for a complementary dye in a broadband, flash lamp pumped system? I'm going to have some cider.

  10. #10
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    for a UV source i use germicidal lamp with a filter on it that only passes short wave but i use it with florescent minerals that only respond to short wave, another option is the lamp from a glue curing machine but that i believe it is a medium pressure mercury lamp that is i think a few hundred watts. But i do have a special place for short arc xenon while it lacks some efficiency the spectrum is nice. I used to have a MaxaBeam spot light till some one stole it. that's a 70 watt short arc with a wonderful reflector and housing
    http://uvsystems.com/ That's the company i get my shortwave stuff from i don't know if that's the energy levels you are looking for though
    Polk SDA SRS, Parasound HCA 3500, Luxman M117, Onkyo 504, 7.62X39, sometimes a ball on a string is the greatest of toys for us nonhuman types. oh and some lasers, lots of lasers

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