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The SSY-1 laser is available surplus very inexpensively. It has a Plano-Plano resonator with Nd:YAG as the active medium and a passive Q-Switch. This laser can be modified to make a master oscillator but the alignment of a Plano-Plano cavity is the most sensitive of any cavity configuration making it very difficult to align and keep in alignment. This is taken care of very well in the original design but it makes for a difficult design to modify. ie. increase the cavity length. Replacing the OC (Output Coupler) with a resonant reflector helps with the coherence length but alignment is made simpler by replacing the HR (Highly Reflective Mirror) with one with a large radius.

It's output is not polarized and has multiple spatial and longitudinal modes. Since the cost is so low many amateur hologaphers are working at modifying it for holographic use.


  • Plano/Plano Resonator
  • Nd:YAG 4 mm x 50mm
  • Passive Q-Switch
  • Diffuse Cavity
  • Flash Lamp 3mm bore x 35 mm long
  • Recomended Flash Lamp input 900V at 15J
  • Output 15 to 50 mj at 1064nm
  • 100us optimal flash lamp pulse

Sam's Laser FAQ on the SSY-1