compiled by Julie MacShane, firstname.lastname@example.org
Increased power fiber lasers
SPI Lasers (Southampton, UK; www.spilasers.com) has increased the power of its R4 platform products: air-cooled lasers from 100 to 200W power, and its water-cooled ones from 200 to 400W power. New features on the R4 laser platform include XPR (extended performance range) and PSE (pulse shape equalization). These new features build upon SPI’s performance in CW laser stability and superior modulation rate (CW to 100kHz). XPR allows a high-power laser to be switched to operate at average powers down to <1% of the maximum rated output power. The PSE feature overcomes the traditional laser problem of first pulse over or under-shoot. PSE ensures the first pulse is as usable as any other in the pulse train.
OEM ultraviolet laser with low beam divergence
The new MATRIX 355 BE from Coherent Inc. (Santa Clara, CA; www.coherent.com) is a frequency-tripled DPSS (diode-pumped solid-state) laser that delivers a unique combination of low output noise and low beam divergence. Specifically, this is the first OEM UV laser to incorporate an integral beam expander within the sealed laser head, which results in an output beam diameter (1/e2) of 2.2mm and a divergence of only 0.5mrad. This low divergence is an advantage in many OEM applications, especially those having particularly long beam delivery paths or requiring high NA focusing. The new laser is offered with a choice of 1 or 2W of average power and pulse repetition rates as high as 60 kHz.
Ultrafast Ti:sapphire laser mirrors
Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ; www.edmundoptics.com) has introduced new ultrafast Ti:sapphire laser mirrors to keep pulses together with flat group velocity dispersion curves centered around 800nm and flat over the 700–900nm range. The mirrors are available in 12.7 and 25.4mm dia., 6.35mm thick, with a 10-5 surface quality, and surface accuracy of 1/10 wave. These mirrors are also tough, able to withstand laser powers up to 0.5 J/cm2 in a 150fs-long pulse or 100kW/cm2 CW. Effectively, 100% of both S and P polarized light reflects from the mirrors from 730 to 900 nm. These mirrors are precisely machined to offer parallelism to within 5 arc min., an 85% clear aperture, diameter tolerance of +0.0/-0.2mm, and thickness tolerance of ±0.2mm. They are designed for a 45° angle of incidence, for steering ultrafast laser beams.
Laser beam steering optics
Laser beam steering optics for direct field replacement in popular marking and cutting lasers are available from Laser Research Optics (Providence, RI; www.laserresearch.net). The CO2 beam delivery optics include focusing lenses and mirrors that meet or exceed OEM and ISO-10110 specifications for lower power lasers used in laser marking, engraving, and cutting applications. Focusing lenses are available in 0.5 in. to 1.5 in. dia. sizes with 1 in. to 25 in. focal lengths, in 0.5 in. increments, and mirrors are offered in both silicon and molybdenum. These optics are suitable for Amada, Coherent, Cincinnati, Continuum, Epilog, Lambda Physik, Mazak, Synrad, and similar lasers. The CO2 beam delivery optics are optimized for 10.6µm and come in a wide range of sizes.
20mm mrad direct diode laser
The new LIMO1000-F200-DL808/915/940/980-EX784 from LIMO (Dortmund, Germany; www.limo.de) emits 1000W delivered by a 200µm fiber (NA = 0.22). Micro-optics beam shaping yields a beam-parameter-product of 20mm mrad for efficient cutting and welding of plastics and metals. Compared to traditional CO2 and solid-state lasers the direct diode design affords: a low power consumption of typical 5kW; a small laser system form factor with a footprint of 0.5m2; the use of exchangeable standard non-cooled optical fibers; and maintenance-free operation. The diode laser is available as a laser module or integrated into a turnkey “industrial laser system” (ILS) that includes power supply, chiller and standard industrial interfaces like pyrometer, CAN bus, RS-232, SPS, interlock, emergency-stop, and laser warning lights. The system offers a completely controlled operation of the diode laser, including CW and pulsed operation down to 100µs pulse duration, suitable for a fast and easy integration into a large variety of production machines.
Green lasers for display manufacture
Powerlase Ltd. (Crawley, UK; www.powerlase.com) has introduced the Starlase 100G and Starlase 200G range of green lasers designed for specific applications, including solar cell processing and OLED flat-panel display manufacture. Developed in collaboration with Powerlase customers, the 100G and 200G lasers’ rapid laser patterning technique, developed to process thin film coatings on plasma television screens, has been extended and developed for application in solar cell manufacturing. Additionally, the new laser is well suited for polysilicon annealing (also known as green laser annealing, or GLA), a process used in the manufacture of OLED (organic light emitting diodes) displays. The lasers are also suited to the processing of hard materials, such as polycrystalline diamond. With high average powers of 100W and 200W, respectively, at a wavelength of 532nm, the new lasers have the same nanosecond duration pulses as the rest of the Starlase range. The 200G contains two independently controllable oscillators that can be triggered to tailor the profile of the output pulses.
Floating-lens, vacuum-sealed packaging
Ophir Optronics Ltd.’s (Jerusalem, Israel; www.ophiropt.com) CO2 Optics Group has unveiled EZ-Pack, an advanced form of packaging for industrial laser optics. Composed of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a recyclable plastic widely used in the beverage industry, EZ-Pack is both environmentally friendly and durable. The lens practically “floats” within its enclosure, eliminating the need for wrapping paper and a plastic bag. Because no material comes in contact with the optical surfaces, there is no potential dirt or loose fibers to contend with, and no cleaning is required prior to mounting. Every unit is vacuum-sealed to prevent humidity and extend the lens’ shelf-life. EZ-Pack is now available for standard 1.5-in. dia. laser lenses. Future versions of the product are being planned for other lenses and mirrors sizes.