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Newport launches first fiber laser

31 May 2007

Newport has unveiled its first UV fiber-based laser, which it says will displace existing sources for micro materials processing.

A fiber-based, picosecond pulsed UV laser reported to offer 50% higher output power than competitive products is now available from Newport. The laser is the first offering from the company's Fiber Laser Business Group, which it formed in January 2007 as part of its Spectra-Physics Lasers Division.

"The laser pulses are sub 50 ps at a wavelength of 355 nm," Michael Kauf, Marketing and Business Development Manager for Newport's Fiber Laser Division Group, told optics.org. "The laser offers 12 W of output power at a repetition rate of 80 MHz. This is the first product in our fiber laser product portfolio. We will be expanding this product line in the coming months."

According to Kauf, the fiber-based laser will replace large-frame Ar-Ion sources; existing UV picosecond lasers with lower power levels; and UV nanosecond lasers for micro material processing.

Newport has a lot of the technology required to manufacture the key components of a fiber laser. "Newport is vertically integrated, with most of the key areas of expertise in-house, including diode lasers, fiber coupling, frequency conversion technology and optics," commented Kauf. "Some components, such as the fiber itself, are sourced through exclusive agreements."

The new UV fiber-based laser has been used to process a wide range of dielectric, glass and semiconductor materials. For example, Newport says that it can process polyimide at speeds up to 10 m/s and indium tin oxide up to 25 m/s. The company believes that both results showed superior scribing performance quality at speeds 5-10 times faster than conventional Q-switched technology.

According to Newport, the new laser platform enables higher throughput and lower cost of ownership for many of the most challenging applications in semiconductor, solar cell, flat panel and printed circuit board manufacturing. The laser will be on show in June at the LASER exhibition in Munich where Newport will be presenting additional data.

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