We have constructed a nanosecond pulsed Xe lamp which is controllable by a small-sized, high-voltage semiconductor switch that is driven by a transistor-transistor-logic level external signal. The Xe lamp used here is commercially available and it is usually operated in a direct-current (dc) mode. The aim of the external control is to solve a discharge difficulty in a free-running Xe lamp that we have developed previously. The problem is that the free-running discharge Xe lamp suddenly switches in its operation mode from a pulsed spark-discharge mode to an undesirable, weak, dc arc-discharge mode. The pulse width of emitted light from the pulsed Xe lamp was 3.8 ns and the repetition frequency was 0.5–1 kHz with a peak power 100 W. In order to obtain an accurate timing signal required for a fluorescence-lifetime measurement system, a current probe circuit was added in the control circuit. Details of the lamp and the results of fundamental performance tests are shown.

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