From 1975-1979 many scientists and institutions worked on the initial development of a family of gas lasers known as the "excimer." Those pioneers and institutions included Charles Chase (Tachisto), Terry McKee (Lumonics), Dirk Basting (Lambda Physik), J.J. Ewing, Ralph Burnham, Robert Sze, Richard Slater (Avco), Charles Rhodes, Paul Christensen, and others representing the United States governmental laboratories. All parties contributed significantly in the early development of this technology.
The name excimer is a contraction of "Excited Dimer," a description of a diatomic molecule in which the component atoms are bound in the excited state, but not in the ground state. The important gas molecules are rare gas halides including argon fluoride, krypton fluoride, and xenon chloride.
In the seventies, Linde Gases saw an opportunity to supply these replenishable gases for the excimer laser industry knowing that excimer lasers needed them to operate.
Linde Gases constantly works diligently and in close collaboration with all of the worldwide excimer laser manufacturers to enhance the performance, reliability, and safety of these devices. We believe that our support of this technology was and remains integral to the excimer's commercial success. As a result, Linde Gases has become the largest supplier in the world of excimer laser gases and laser gas handling equipment.
Through our excimer laser gases and gas handling equipment, Linde supports medical applications including laser vision correction, laser angioplasty and microsurgeries, and industrial applications including laser photolithography, annealing and doping of semiconductors, marking of ceramics and many other excimer laser processes.
These prevalent, expanding markets now validate Linde Gases’ original belief that excimer lasers would become commercially significant throughout the world.