Applications

Krypton's multiple emission lines make ionized krypton gas discharges appear whitish, which in turn makes krypton-based bulbs useful in photography as a brilliant white light source. Krypton is thus used in some types of photographic flashes used in high speed photography. Krypton gas is also combined with other gases to make luminous signs that glow with a bright greenish-yellow light.

Krypton is mixed with argon as the fill gas of energy saving fluorescent lamps. This reduces their operating voltage and power consumption. Unfortunately it also reduces their light output and raises their cost. Krypton costs 100 times as much as argon. Krypton (along with xenon) is also used to fill incandescent lamps to reduce filament evaporation and allow higher operating temperatures to be used for the filament. Brighter light results which contains more blue than conventional lamps.

Krypton's white discharge is often used to good effect in colored gas discharge tubes, which are then simply painted or stained in other ways to allow the desired colour (for example, "neon" type advertising signs where the letters appear in differing colours, are often entirely krypton-based). Krypton is also capable of much higher light power density than neon in the red spectral line region, and for this reason, red lasers for high power laser light shows are often krypton lasers with mirrors which select out the red spectral line for laser amplification and emission, rather than the more familiar helium-neon variety, which could never practically achieve the multi-watt red laser light outputs needed for this application.

Krypton has an important role in production and usage of the krypton fluoride laser. The laser has been important in the nuclear fusion energy research community in confinement experiments. The laser has high beam uniformity, short wavelength, and the ability to modify the spot size to track an imploding pellet.

In experimental particle physics, liquid krypton is used to construct quasi-homogeneous electromagnetic calorimeters. A notable example is the calorimeter of the NA48 experiment at CERN containing about 27 tons of liquid krypton. This usage is rare, since the cheaper liquid argon is typically used. The advantage of krypton over argon is a small Molière radius of 4.7cm, which allows for excellent spatial resolution and low degree of overlapping. The other parameters relevant for calorimetry application are: radiation length of X0 = 4.7cm, density of 2.4g/cm³.

The sealed spark gap assemblies contained in ignition exciters used in some older Turbine/Jet engines contain a very small amount of Krypton-85 in order to obtain consistent ionization levels and uniform operation.

 
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