13 Jul 2007
Laser diode specialist QPC Lasers launches a smaller, more powerful seed laser.
The new laser, based on QPC's BrightLase platform, has been designed to deliver high power in a single-mode beam for seeding fiber and solid-state lasers, and for use in direct applications. It can produce single-frequency beams of up to 1.5 W CW at 1064 nm and up to 1 W CW at 1550 nm, about 10 times the power output from existing diode-based seed lasers.
"Seed lasers have previously been low power, typically 50 to 100 mW," Ed McIntyre of QPC told optics.org. "For higher power seeds approaching 1 W, fiber lasers or DPSS lasers have been needed."
The seed laser is based on QPC's BrightLase single-mode laser technology which recently demonstrated industry-leading single-frequency powers exceeding 3 W at conversion efficiencies greater than 50%.
The QPC design exploits a two-part chip that combines a low-power section and an amplifying section. It employs a semiconductor chip mounted onto a heat sink with hard solder, and optional single-mode fiber coupling is also available. As a result the design is much more compact than other high-power seed lasers.
Substantially higher peak powers can be achieved under pulsed excitation conditions, according to McIntyre. "Some customers are using the devices at 100 times the CW specification power, at short pulse lengths of 20 nanoseconds," he said. Typical beam quality is claimed to be better than M2 ~1.2.
"These power and brightness levels have been previously available only from bulky solid-state or fiber lasers," commented Jeffrey Ungar, president and CEO of QPC Lasers. "Our design simplifies laser systems for growth markets such as industrial, defense and communication systems."