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By Cornelia White

An RGB laser is that beam source that emits red, green and blue lights in form of laser beams either as a separate beam for each color or a combination of all the three colors in one beam. Through the process of additive color mixing which is achieved through combination of these lights, a number of many other lights can be obtained.

RGB laser sources have proven to perform better than other arc lamps beam sources. While the later are normally cheaper sources of beams, they come with limited lifetime, poor image quality and impossibility of high wall-plug efficiency. This is particularly as a result of poor spatial coherence and availability of less color space, a result of which has seen a rapid rise in their demand.

These types of lasers achieve coherence of wavelengths, a reason why they outperform many other sources of beams. The coherence is on both time and space allowing for inferences. The consistency in the change of phase properties over a long distance results into high quality images that make them preferred for entertainment and other professional applications.

These lasers are known to produce beams of the three primary colors with very narrow optical bandwidth making them close to the monochromatic light beams. They are thus capable of producing very clear images on mixing, the reason why they are getting more application like in cathode tube displays, color printers and lamp-based beamers.

These beamers however are known to emit beams that are low in power. With cinema projectors requiring over 10 W of power per color, the use of RGB sources is limited. In addition to power insufficiency, there other challenges include maturity and cost effectiveness. There is also a need of better quality of beam for efficient working of these beamers.

In situations where optical modulators is not practical as a result of low-power miniature devices or for any other reason, the RGB sources are fitted with power-modulators for better signals. Using laser diodes in particular helps achieve modulation bandwidth of tens to hundreds of megahertz or even higher resolutions.

There are many methods of constructing RGB lasers. Three lasers with each emitting a particular light of a wanted color is for instance an approach that has been used for long. These visible light beams are however limited in performance as compared to those that are infrared based.

When using an infrared solid state laser, a single beam of a near-infrared laser generating a single color is used. This is then converted into the three color under a several stages of converting non-linear frequency. The other common methods include combining parametric oscillators, frequency doublers method and frequency mixer method.

Technological advancement is however set to completely address the challenges in with an RGB laser. Just like other forms of lasers, they are set to be used in all other areas where there are need for lasers like in hospital machines, cutting technology and in entertainment industry among others.

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