Aachen, Germany – Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have installed a femtosecond laser at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics MPQ in Garching that generated an average power of 280 W at 515 nm wavelength with perfect beam quality and operated at the touch of a button.
The turn-key laser is based on a Yb:INNOSLAB amplifier with frequency doubling. No other laser system has ever offered more output with diffraction-limited beam quality in the visible spectral range.
In recent years, beam source development has seen great progress with average output power of several hundred W with diffraction-limited beam quality demonstrated using Ytterbium-doped laser media at 1 µm wavelength in fiber. The ILT scientists hold the record with their amplifier, generating an output power of 1.1 kW.
The laser system at MPQ, besides delivering an average power of 280 W at 515 nm wavelength, also delivers an almost diffraction-limited beam quality of M² < 1.4 using near-industrial construction and user interface. The scientists at the MPQ have an average power at their disposal that is one magnitude higher than that generated by commercially available systems.
Ultra-short-pulse lasers offer higher-precision ablation than lasers with longer pulses. The femtosecond laser can process materials such as glass, which are otherwise transparent for light with the laser wavelength. Frequency conversion from the infrared to the green spectral range doubles the photon energy. Another application of green laser radiation is the processing of copper and other materials, which absorb radiation particularly well in this spectral range. Scaling up the average power permits a higher throughput and renders industrial use economically viable, as the costs per watt are significantly reduced.