Talence, France - Scientists here at Femlight and University of Jena (Jena, Germany) have used a rod-type fiber laser to overcome the limits of traditional solid-state lasers and fiber lasers. On one hand, they say, diode-pumped solid-state lasers can produce energetic pulses but the beam quality degrades quickly as soon as the average power increases. On the other hand, fiber lasers are capable of producing high CW average powers with diffraction limited beam but do not sustain the energy needed for industrial applications where short pulses are used.
Using a new generation of photonic fibers in a special resonator configuration, the scientists have demonstrated a 280kW peak power Q-switched laser with 8.5ns/2.4mJ pulses at repetition rates adjustable from 1 to 100 kHz. The diode-pumped fiber laser provided average powers up to 100 W in a diffraction limited beam, with more than 41 percent optical-to-optical efficiency. According to the scientists, the combination of high average power, short pulses, high peak power, and excellent beam quality make this laser a perfect candidate for multiple industrial applications, from flat panel display patterning to deep engraving.
Femlight expects the average power to reach 200 W this year and 1 kW in 2007. The company introduced the first product based on this technology at Photonics West last month. Other products running in the visible (515 nm) or in the UV (343 nm) are expected to follow quickly.
For more information, visit www.femlight.com.