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Innovation: focus on lasers

21 Oct 2009

A round-up of new laser products for applications in materials processing, optical sensing, laser surgery and plenty more besides.

DPSS laser

The MATRIX 532-8-100 from Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) is a Q-switched, diode-pumped, solid-state laser designed "to deliver the best cost:performance ratio for demanding micromachining tasks in solar, semiconductor and medical device manufacturing". Specifically, the laser provides 8 W of output power at 532 nm at a pulse rate of 100 kHz in order to support high-throughput applications. Other specifications include power stability of <2%, pulse-to-pulse noise typically <2%_rms, pointing stability <15 µrad/°C, and M<1.3. The MATRIX 532-8-100 is RoHS compliant and backed by an 18_month/10,000_hour warranty.

Visible diode-laser bars

DILAS, Germany, has expanded its series of conduction-cooled, visible diode-laser bars. The latest devices cover the wavelengths 632, 635, 638, 650 and 677 nm with optical CW output powers between 4 and 20 W. Available as fast-axis-collimated, hermetically sealed or fibre-coupled modules, the laser bars are suitable for applications like Cr3+LiCAF pumping, holography, illumination and biomedical. The bars will integrate with all other DILAS packages, like multibar fibre-coupled modules or multibar stacks.

Blue-violet laser diodes

Photonic Products
Photonic Products, UK, is now shipping a family of 405 nm wavelength-stabilized laser diodes from ONDAX (Monrovia, CA) for applications in Raman spectroscopy, flow cytometry, metrology and interferometry. Specifications include wavelength stability of <0.015 nm/°C, single-longitudinal-mode operation, compact size (standard 5.6 mm TO package), wavelength locking to <±1 nm, coherence length of ~0.6 m and a hermetically sealed design. Wavelength stabilization is achieved by optical feedback using the ONDAX volume-holographic-grating PowerLocker. Other applications include data storage, CD mastering, diffraction-grating fabrication and confocal microscopy.

Multichannel laser system

TeraXion, Canada, has unveiled a 10-channel, narrow-linewidth semiconductor laser system for fibre-optic sensing applications. The PS-MNL semiconductor laser system features 10 laser modules in a compact 2U chassis that is designed to meet the rigorous specifications required for long-term use in the oil and gas industry, as well as in structural health monitoring and perimeter security markets. TeraXion says its "patent-pending proprietary linewidth and frequency control technology enables reduction of the optical linewidth down to 5 kHz, thus enabling low phase noise and long coherence length". The output power of up to 80 mW provides the capacity to interrogate more branches with a minimum of amplification.

Laser drilling

GSI Group
The JK604D laser from GSI Group, UK, has been specifically designed to address percussion drilling and trepanning within the aerospace and automotive industries. Typical applications include drilling of cooling holes (effusion) in jet engines and gas turbine components such as nozzle guide vanes, blades and combustor liners. Providing an optimized peak power of 16 kW, the pulsed laser has a demonstrated capability for percussion drilling low-angle (30° or less) holes in both single-crystal turbine-blade and typical guide-vane alloys in the range of 0.25–0.8 mm in less than 1 s, with low recast layer thickness.

1470 nm diode laser

LIMO, Germany, has added a compact, fibre-coupled 1470 nm diode laser to its product portfolio. Two versions are available as standard, offering output powers of 12 and 25 W, though customized devices with output powers >100 W can also be supplied on request. A protection window, fibre-contact switch, monitor diode and pilot laser are integrated into the module. Applications include laser surgery and pumping of Er:YAG lasers.

Passively cooled diode laser

JENOPTIK Laserdiode
Commercial production of a new passively cooled diode laser with optimized heatsink design is now under way at JENOPTIK Laserdiode, Germany. The JOLD-120-CPNN-1L is claimed to provide around 30% improved cooling efficiency (similar to devices using microchannel heatsinks) versus other standard diode lasers on the market. When integrated into a fibre-coupled module (such as the JOLD-100-CPXF-2P A with air cooling), the laser achieves an optical output power of 100 W in continuous operation from a fibre with a core diameter of 400 µm and numerical aperture of 0.22. This fibre-coupled diode laser module can be used for direct materials processing or for pumping of solid-state and fibre lasers.

980 nm pump-laser module

The Next-Generation 1996 SGP Series pump-laser module is capable of delivering 600 mW of ex-fibre optical power, making it the most powerful 980 nm pump-laser module available for 10 and 40 Gbit/s submarine optical networking applications. That's the claim of French manufacturer 3S PHOTONICS. The module is based around a field-proven double-lens coupling platform, while long-term ageing tests demonstrate "extremely high stability of the construction and typical expected end-of-life power drifts less than 2% over a 25-year lifetime".

Optikos Corporation Photon Engineering, LLCSpectrum Scientific Inc. -  SSI OpticsTRIOPTICS GmbHSchaefter und Kirchhoff GmbHFirst Light ImagingOmicron-Laserage Laserprodukte GmbH
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