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Oclaro powers 'first' 15kW direct diode laser

10 Feb 2012

Advances in laser diode design mean Oclaro supports highest power and broadest wavelength range.

Oclaro, a tier-one provider and innovator of laser solutions and optical communications technologies, has announced that its laser diodes have been designed into the industry's first 15 kilowatt (kW) direct diode fiber coupled laser systems, which are available from Laserline.

The Oclaro laser diodes scale from 910nm to 1070nm at high power and brightness levels to meet the demanding performance requirements of these “next-generation” 15kW laser systems. The company showcased its complete range of laser diodes, which are currently shipping in volume to the industrial, semiconductor, automotive and materials processing markets, at Photonics West 2012.

The 15kW and other multi-kilowatt laser systems are suitable for applications such as metal welding, cladding and cutting that continually require higher power to improve the performance of the laser system and process efficiency. Due to their output power, brightness and output wavelengths, the Oclaro laser diodes have become a key technology that is driving the development of these next generation laser systems.

Moreover because the power of these systems scales linearly with the number of wavelengths available for multiplexing, Oclaro's ability to provide lasers with wavelengths from 910 to 1070nm at higher power levels and brightness allows users – for the first time – to design commercial fiber coupled multi-kilowatt direct diode laser systems that deliver and exceed 15kW.

At the San Francisco event, Bernd Meyer, VP Product Management High Power Laser Business for Oclaro, commented, "The launch of these high power lasers reflects Oclaro's continuing ability to advance the performance and features of our laser diode platform. Our customers are always looking for ways to expand their business into new markets and applications that require more power and brightness, and the 15kW laser systems being enabled by our laser diodes are key to their success in diverse applications."

Laserline integration

One of the first Oclaro customers designing next generation 15kW laser systems is Laserline, a manufacturer of high power diode laser systems for materials processing and other applications. Laserline chose the Oclaro direct diode solutions because they deliver the power, brightness and reliability needed to bring 15kW direct diode systems to market. In addition, Oclaro was able to provide Laserline with its in-house design and manufacturing expertise along with the capability to scale to volume quickly and cost effectively.

Laserline’s LDF series of fiber-coupled diode lasers deliver between 100 W and 15 kW output power to the workpiece through an optical fiber. Depending on the laser power, optical fibers of 200 to 1,500 µm diameter are used. In most cases, fiber-coupled diode laser heads are integrated into the compact and mobile supply unit in an all-in-one concept. The laser system can be upgraded and adapted to different applications, for example, by adding diode laser stacks.

The LDF lasers are suited to multiple station operation with beam switches and fibers of up to 100 m in length. The beam switch is integrated in the laser head and may also be added later, as customer requirements in production increase. It is equipped with an integrated status monitor and beam absorber.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org

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