Ultra-fast pulse lasers perform impossible tasks

Munich, Germany – Conventional production lasers have been successfully used to perform manufacturing tasks ranging from scribing to drilling to cutting. However, conventional lasers can cause thermal or mechanical damage such as burrs and cracks or unwanted changes in the surface condition of sensitive materials.

A new class of lasers with ultra-short pulsed outputs ranging from picoseconds to femtoseconds (10-12 or 10-15 seconds) overcome the disadvantages of conventional lasers and protect the material being processed. These ultra-short pulsed lasers actually enable certain production steps, particularly when drilling, milling, and cutting micro-materials in the microscopically small range.

For example, high-powered ultra-short pulsed lasers can drill much smaller and more precise holes for diesel fuel injection nozzles than has been previously possible. Since the fuel dispensed through these tiny holes is more finely atomized, soot particles are minimized and fuel consumption is reduced.

"Ultra-short pulsed lasers have the potential to replace traditional production processes for cutting, drilling, and material removing in many areas" said Dr. Sascha Weiler, micromachining product manager, Trumpf Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH. "However, they also permit entirely new applications which have not been conceivable to date. Ultra-short pulsed lasers are very efficient because the energy has an effect in exactly the place where it should without heat or any other influences on the surrounding area. The process is therefore especially suitable for fine machining operations and sensitive materials."

LASER World of PHOTONICS 2011 will present the latest solutions in the area of ultra-short pulsed lasers at the Munich Trade Fair Centre from May 23 to 26, 2011. The show will feature a separate exhibition area entitled "Lasers and Laser Systems In Production Engineering" during the trade fair. Companies and research institutes will exhibit new ultra-short picosecond and femtosecond pulsed lasers. Their high performance and robust design are opening up new industry applications including cutting silicon wafers and composite fiber materials, microstructuring of surfaces and very fine, very precise drilling.

Ultra-short picosecond pulsed lasers are already used in production engineering. "Especially in LED production, ultra-short pulsed lasers recently started replacing the current nanosecond lasers," said Dr. Müller, director marketing/sales, Lumera Laser. "It has been revealed that in LED dicing, i.e. separation of LEDs, high diode efficiency and higher output can be attained using picosecond lasers." His company will present these and other industrial picosecond lasers from 6 to 60 W.

Picosecond lasers are also used in the printing industry to produce print cylinders, and in toolmaking and in glass processing to produce touch displays. High Q Laser, Austria, will exhibit its latest generation of picosecond pulsed lasers. The new lasers are extremely compact - just 0.8 x 0.5 x 0.375 inch - and are small and robust enough to retrofit into existing systems.

A new generation of ultra-short femtosecond pulsed lasers are now reaching market maturity with output power up to 10 W that make possible applications such as exact microstructuring and nanostructuring of thin-film solar cells.

TOPAG Lasertechnik GmbH will exhibit 10 W femtosecond lasers made by Light Conversion GmbH, Lithuania. The lasers are temperature-stabilized and hermetically sealed, making them suitable for both laboratory and industrial environments without modification.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) will demonstrate a remarkable femtosecond laser with an average output of 830 W. The Institute will present its research and its application to material processing both in the exhibition area of LASER World of PHOTONICS and during the practical talks in the World of Photonics Congress.

Many other exhibitors will also present ultra-short pulsed lasers at the trade fair. They include:
* Coherent Deutschland GmbH
* Edgewave GmbH
* High Q Laser Innovation GmbH
* Lumera Laser GmbH
* Kaiserslautern and Rofin Sinar Laser GmbH

For more information, contact: sweimer@munich-tradefairs.com

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