A chemical laser is a laser that obtains its energy from a chemical reaction. Chemical lasers can achieve continuous wave output with power reaching to megawatt levels. They are used in industry for cutting and drilling.
Common examples of chemical lasers are the chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL), all gas-phase iodine laser (AGIL), and the hydrogen fluoride laser and deuterium fluoride laser, both operating in the mid-infrared region. There is also a DF-CO2 laser (deuterium fluoride-carbon dioxide), which, like COIL, is a "transfer laser." The hydrogen fluoride (HF) and deuterium fluoride (DF) lasers are unusual in that there are several molecular energy transitions with sufficient energy to be above the threshold required for lasing. Since the molecules do not collide frequently enough to re-distribute the energy, several of these laser modes will operate either simultaneously, or in extremely rapid succession so that an HF or DF laser appears to be operating simultaneously on several wavelengths unless a wavelength selection device is incorporated into the resonator.