One of the most obvious differences between a blue laser pointer and a green laser pointer is the price. A 10mW blue laser pointer costs $ 700 compared to the price of the equivalent 15mW green laser pointer which costs $ 100.
It’s not just the blue laser pointers that are the most expensive. Blue laser modules, OEM lasers, and lab lasers are also much more expensive than their eco-friendly counterparts. The reason for such a large price difference is the processes used to generate the laser beam, the components used and the manufacturing volumes.
Beam generation process
The blue and green laser pointers use a pump diode that emits 808nm infrared light that is used to pump the same type of crystals. The pumped crystals in turn emit light in the far infrared spectrum. The difference between blue and green lasers is the optical coatings of the pumped crystals and the type of far infrared light produced by these crystals.
Crystals pumped into a green laser pointer have an optical coating that causes the crystals to emit primarily 1064nm infrared light, the frequency of which is doubled by another crystal to 532nm green light. Crystals pumped into a blue laser pointer have a different coating that causes the crystals to emit primarily 946nm infrared light which is also doubled in frequency by another crystal at 473nm of light.
The process of producing 1064nm light is much more efficient than producing 946nm light, so blue laser pointers need a large pump diode to produce the same power. The larger pump diode makes blue laser pointers more expensive. Crystals that double the frequency in blue laser pointers are rarer and more expensive than those in green laser pointers.
Green laser pointers have better visibility than blue laser pointers and have fewer temperature issues at higher power levels. This means that green lasers are used for a greater number of diverse applications, such as astronomy, pointing, burning and signaling, and are manufactured in very high volumes. Blue laser pointers, on the other hand, are much more limited in their application and are manufactured in much lower volumes. Like any product, the smaller the volume produced, the more expensive the product.
Article courtesy of Dragonlasers – Lasers, Laser Pointer & Green Laser Online Store No. 1