A fast repetition rate (FRR) flasher suitable for high flash photolysis including kinetic chemical and biological analysis. The flasher includes a power supply, a discharge capacitor operably connected to be charged by the power supply, and a flash lamp for producing a series of flashes in response to discharge of the discharge capacitor. A triggering circuit operably connected to the flash lamp initially ionizes the flash lamp. A current switch is operably connected between the flash lamp and the discharge capacitor. The current switch has at least one insulated gate bipolar transistor for switching current that is operable to initiate a controllable discharge of the discharge capacitor through the flash lamp. Control means connected to the current switch for controlling the rate of discharge of the discharge capacitor thereby to effectively keep the flash lamp in an ionized state between Successive discharges of the discharge capacitor. Advantageously, the control means is operable to discharge the discharge capacitor at a rate greater than 10,000 Hz and even up to a rate greater than about 250,000 Hz.
This invention was made with Government support under contract number DE-AC02-76CH00016, between the U.S. Department of Energy and Associated Universities, Inc. The Government has certain rights in the invention.