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Photonics West 2023: something blue, something new

09 Feb 2023

optics.org highlights a selection of new announcements from last week’s Photonics West and BiOS exhibitions.

Coherent exhibited a range of new products and capabilities at Photonics West and BiOS exhibitions, last week. Applications of the devices spanned industrial, communications, electronics, and instrumentation markets. Coherent representatives also presented at various industry events, workshops, and technical sessions. New developments included:

  • 10 W HyperRapid NXT 266 nm picosecond lasers: The industry’s first laser-based solution capable of ablating a microscopic channel around OLED displays, maximizing the active area of the display.
  • 150 W Monaco infrared lasers: The lasers output more than double the power and pulse energy of existing configurations, enabling high-precision cutting of large glass panels in very high volumes to produce large OLED screens.
  • 50 W pump laser diodes: The industry’s first commercially available 50 W pump lasers, enabling high-power industrial fiber laser designs with fewer pump laser diodes.
  • 905 nm triple-junction edge-emitting semiconductor lasers: The lasers efficiently emit up to 100 W of optical power in nanosecond pulses. The lasers are qualified to the stringent JEDEC JESD22-A10x standard for industrial applications.
  • Diffractive optical elements (DOEs) for high-power industrial lasers: The DOEs leverage a proprietary nanoimprint technology and design simulation tools to achieve very high optical efficiency and extremely uniform laser beams in kilowatt-class industrial lasers.

Related news: Read all about Photonics West 2023 in the four issues of Show Daily, produced by optics.org.

TeraDiode, which is owned by Panasonic, has pushed the output power of its blue industrial sources beyond 800 W, thanks to wavelength beam combining (WBC) technology. Discussing the development during the High Power Diode Laser Technology conference, Christopher Halle from the Wilmington, Massachusetts, company said that following the demonstration of the 400 W TeraBlade module at last year’s Photonics West, TeraDiode had just shipped a two-module system with an output of more than 800 W to its parent company’s laboratory in Osaka.

Next up will be a four-module system with an output beyond 1600 W, with an eye on industrial applications like welding of copper battery foils. Blue lasers have well-known advantages when it comes to processing colored and highly reflective metals, thanks to much better absorption and coupling at the shorter wavelength.

Halle showed a series of videos and images indicating good weld quality with both copper and when joining dissimilar materials, for example butt-welding copper and aluminum. At their current output power, the blue lasers perform well but are only able to weld copper up to about 1 mm thick.

However, Halle showed how that could be increased by using a hybrid approach that combines blue and kilowatt-scale near-infrared lasers operating at around 975 nm, to process material more than 2 mm thick.

That should prove useful for applications involving chunkier pieces of metal, such as copper heat exchangers used in air-conditioning systems.

Kyocera SLD Laser (KSLD) also introduced its new high power 5W blue laser diode products for industrial, biomedical, defense and display applications. The company showcased this range along with its new high brightness White/IR LaserLight SMD products – a winner of one of the 2021 Prism Awards.

Additionally, KSLD demonstrated its DataLight high-speed LiFi communication system – a 2023 Prism Award winner – as well as its new innovations in high efficiency laser diodes for AR/VR applications and efficient optical power transfer technology.

KSLD’s new high power blue laser diode products deliver 5W of optical power at 445 nm and are based on KSLD’s proprietary high gain semipolar GaN architecture. The product is available in a TO-can package or chip-on-submount, as well as a fiber delivered configuration.

The devices are suitable for integration into customer end systems in industrial marking, engraving for non-metals and organics such as resins, plastics, and printed circuit boards as well as in 3D printing and welding of metals such as copper for EV battery production.

KSLD said it is also applying its high gain Semipolar GaN innovation to develop high efficiency low power red, green, and blue laser diodes to miniaturize, brighten, and reduce power consumption of RGB laser beam scanning modules for the emerging AR/VR market.

The company also exhibited its LaserLight SMD devices that deliver high brightness white and infrared dual illumination for medical, machine vision, inspection, safety lighting, bioinstrumentation and other applications that require high intensity spots or high efficiency fiberoptic delivery of white light.

Semiconductor developer BluGlass launched its first suite of gallium nitride (GaN) laser products for customer purchase in San Francisco. BluGlass’ lasers are available across 405nm, 420nm, and 450nm wavelengths in both single-mode and multi-mode devices.

Customers can inspect performance data and purchase these products in a range of form factors including TO Cans of different sizes and Chip-on-Submounts. The following products are now available for purchase:

  • Violet 405nm multi-mode 1W laser
  • Violet 405nm single-mode 250mW laser
  • Violet 420nm multi-mode 1W laser
  • Violet 420nm single-mode 250mW laser
  • Blue 450nm multi-mode 1W laser
  • Blue 450nm single-mode 100mW laser

The company said it has received interest from customers wanting to deploy BluGlass lasers in their product development programs, which span a multitude of applications including; 3D printing, quantum sensing and computing, material sensing, and flow cytometry.

Commenting on the product launches, BluGlass President Jim Haden said, “The market is telling us there is a growing need for a dedicated GaN laser supplier who can provide greater manufacturing agility and form factor flexibility, to enable manufacturers to expand their product offerings and market applications. We have several potential customers interested in our portfolio, and this significant milestone paves the way for first orders and commercial revenues.

“The visible laser market is a high-value and high-margin semiconductor segment that is growing rapidly, with ubiquitous use in everything from consumer electronics, advanced manufacturing to medical diagnostics, quantum computing, and defense applications. Within the broader market, GaN lasers offer inherent advantages over traditional infrared laser diodes, including higher energy absorption in key industrial metals, tighter beam focus, and improved efficiency. These competitive advantages are driving significant interest from global customers.”

AlluxaMad City Labs, Inc.Iridian Spectral TechnologiesUniverse Kogaku America Inc.Berkeley Nucleonics CorporationHÜBNER PhotonicsSPECTROGON AB
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