09 Oct 2003
A visible fiber laser emitting 10 mW at 491 nm will be on sale by the end of the year.
German optical component maker unique-m.o.d.e says it plans to launch a singlemode fiber laser emitting 10 mW at 491 nm by the end of 2003. The so-called up-conversion fiber laser will be targeted towards life-science applications.
The current workhorse in life sciences is the argon-ion laser. However, this laser is known to have disadvantages such as its size, weight, electrical-to-optical conversion efficiency and lifetime. Unique-m.o.d.e says its fiber laser has been specifically designed to overcome these drawbacks to offer: “50 times higher efficiency, 5 times smaller footprint, 20 times smaller volume and a significantly reduced cost of ownership.”
According to Albrecht von Pfeil, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing, the 490 nm laser uses a praseodymium-ytterbium-doped fiber pumped by a 850 nm single mode diode laser. “The active singlemode fiber absorbs the pump light, which is then transformed into a shorter wavelength by a multi-photon process,” he explained.
Having teamed up with the Institute of Laser Physics at Hamburg University and a German instrumentation company, unique-m.o.d.e’s technology roadmap also includes fiber lasers emitting at other visible wavelengths.
“Other wavelengths are 635 nm, 520 nm and multi-wavelength systems where the laser wavelength can be switched for example between 635 and 491 nm,” Pfeil told Optics.org. “This would replace an argon-ion and a HeNe gas laser with one source.”
Currently better known as a supplier of high-power diode laser modules, this new fiber laser expands unique-m.o.d.e’s offerings into an area that has seen plenty of activity recently. In August alone UK-based SPI unveiled a 1 kW fiber laser emitting at 1090 nm and US-based IPG Photonics developed a 30 W device emitting at 775 nm.
“Establishing the visible fiber laser business is a further important milestone in unique-m.o.d.e’s strategy to form a diversified optical components operation,” said Pfeil. “It is our strategy to establish two or three business units that operate in different markets.”