Just finished building the first ever ultraviolet laser pointer! This is a project I’ve been wanting to do for at least 5 years, but until a couple weeks ago the cheapest source for a UV laser diode was $4300 from ThorLabs. I got super lucky and picked up a surplus part on ebay for $80 that contained a true UV laser diode.
In this video I start by tearing down the mystery part and showing all of the innards. Then I test the diode by hooking it up to some homemade circuitry, and find a happy spot to drive the laser. Finally I build it into a laser pointer, and then of course do some cool tricks and experiments with it.
The “Cancer Ray” name is meant to be funny, because it surely won’t give you immediate cancer if you get hit by the beam. That being said this is true UVA radiation, which is known to cause detrimental effects with long term exposure, Even though this is not ionizing radiation, that high photon energy has the ability to excite electrons into high energy molecular orbitals, from which chemical reactions can be initiated. When that happens in DNA, bad things happen!!
It is good to end my hiatus, and you will see more vids from me soon.