One of the most obvious differences between blue laser pointers and green laser pointers is the price. A 10 mW blue laser pointer costs $ 700 compared to the equivalent price of a 15 mW green laser pointer that costs $ 100.
Not only is the blue laser pointer more expensive. Blue laser modules, OEM lasers and lab lasers are also far more expensive than their green counterparts. The reason for the large price difference is the process used to produce laser light, the component used for production volume.
The process of making blocks
Both blue and green laser pointers use pump diodes which provide 808nm infrared light which is used to pump the same type of crystal. Crystals that are pumped in turn provide light in the far infrared spectrum. The difference between blue and green lasers is the optical layer in the pumped crystal and the type of far infrared light produced by this crystal.
The crystal that is pumped in a green laser pointer has an optical layer that causes the crystal to deliver most of the 1064nm infrared light which frequency is doubled by other crystals to the 532nm green light. The crystal that is pumped in a blue laser pointer has a different layer which causes the crystal to provide most 946nm infrared light which is also frequency doubled by other crystals to 473nm of light.
The process of producing light 1064nm is far more efficient than making 946nm light so that the blue laser pointer requires a large pump diode to produce the same power. Larger pump diodes make blue laser pointers more expensive. The frequency of crystal multiplication in blue laser pointers is less frequent and more expensive than that in a green laser pointer.
Green laser pointers have better visibility than blue laser pointers and have fewer temperature problems at higher power levels. This means that green lasers are used for a large number of applications such as astronomy, pointing, burning and signaling and are produced in very high volumes. Blue laser pointers on the other hand are far more limited in their applications and are produced in much lower volumes. Like any product, the lower the volume produced, the more expensive the product.