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Novel micro lens boosts diode laser performance

06 Jul 2006

The so-called Fast Axis Collimation lens, developed by Optics For Devices, a division of Schott, can overcome the common problem of beam divergence in diode lasers.

Ensuring the quality of a laser's beam is essential to the overall performance of a diode laser. Fast Axis Collimation (FAC) micro-lenses developed by Optics For Devices, a division of Schott AG, are a way to achieve a lasting increase in the beam quality of diode lasers.

The direct transformation of electrical energy into optical energy enables a diode laser to achieve the highest level of effectiveness of any type of laser. Its compact design, convenient power input based on electricity and a high level of efficiency are reasons why this type of laser has become popular in various applications.

However, diode lasers do have one drawback in that the profile of the beam they generate is often not very precise. Now, Schott says it has developed a micro-lens that can achieve a significant improvement in the quality of the beam.

The aspheric cylindrical lens used to collimate the fast axis can be manufactured using various optical glasses. It enables a transmission rate that exceeds 98%, as well as collimation of less than 3 mrad. In addition, its numerical aperture exceeds 0.8, the focal width either is 0.6 or 0.9 mm at wavelengths of between 780 and 1000 nm.

Schott comments that its aspheric cylindrical lens can be put to use in high-performance diode lasers, light focusing, but also lighting systems.

About Schott Optics For Devices

As a business unit of Schott AG, Optics For Devices manufactures optical glass and glass ceramics with expertise in high precision processing of optical components.

Its product portfolio ranges from optical glass and preforms for precision molding, glass filters and plan-parallel substrates, to precision molded and polished aspheric lenses as well as zero-expansion glass ceramics.

Optics for Devices also offers processing services such as precision polishing, CNC machining, surface coatings, processing in a clean room environment, laser cutting and recasting.

Its 1,200 employees at four facilities in Germany, Switzerland, the USA and Malaysia serve the world's leading manufacturers in display production equipment, digital imaging and projection, laser technology, metrology, astronomy and the semiconductor as well as a number of other industries.

Parent company Schott, based in Mainz, Germany, is an international technology company developing special materials, components and systems in order to provide lasting improvement to living and working conditions. Its main areas of focus are the household appliances industry, optics, opto-electronics, pharmaceuticals and solar energy.

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