Laser dyes are dyes used as laser medium in a dye laser.[1][2] Laser dyes include the coumarins and the rhodamines. Coumarin dyes emit in the green region of the spectrum, whereas rhodamine dyes are used for emission in the yellow-red. The color emitted by the laser dyes depend upon the surrounding medium i.e.the medium in which they are dissolved. However, there are dozens of laser dyes that can be used to span continuously the emission spectrum from the near ultraviolet to the near infrared.[3][4]

Close-up of a table-top dye laser using Rhodamine 6G as active medium.
Molecular structure of Rhodamine 6G, perhaps the best known laser dye.

Laser dyes are also used to dope solid-state matrices, such as poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), and ORMOSILs, to provide gain media for solid state dye lasers.[3]

Partial list of laser dyesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ F. P. Schäfer (Ed.), Dye Lasers, 3rd Ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1990).
  2. ^ F. J. Duarte and L. W. Hillman (Eds.), Dye Laser Principles (Academic, New York, 1990).
  3. ^ a b c F. J. Duarte, Tunable Laser Optics (Elsevier-Academic, New York, 2003) Appendix of Laser Dyes (includes more than 50 laser dyes)
  4. ^ A. J. C. Kuehne and M. C. Gather, Organic Lasers: Recent Developments on Materials, Device Geometries, and Fabrication Techniques, Chem. Rev. 116, 12823-12864 (2016).
  5. ^ S. C. Guggenheimer, A. B. Petersen. "High Power Operation of a CW Ultraviolet Dye Laser". "Prior to 1988, only one laser dye, polyphenyl 1, had been shown to operate CW at wavelengths less than 400 nm."