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compiled by Julie MacShane, juliem@pennwell.

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compiled by Julie MacShane, juliem@pennwell.com

Fiber-based laserdelivers high-powerpicosecond pulses

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Coherent Inc. (Santa Clara, CA; www.coherent.com) has launched the Talisker fiber-based laser to offer high-power, picosecond output in a rugged industrial package. With more than 18W of average power at a pulse repetition rate of 200kHz (pulsewidth <15ps), this laser will enable precision micromachining at high throughput rates with a negligible HAZ (heat affected zone). And, with a choice of infrared (1064nm), visible (532nm), or ultraviolet (355nm) output, Talisker can be used on virtually any material type, including metals, polymers, glass, and semiconductors. The compact laser head measures 17 x 39 x 77cm. Specific applications include drilling high-quality holes in silicon and metals, direct write of flexible circuits/displays, scribing of flat panel displays/solar cells, micro milling, wafer dicing, and metal surface treatments.

CO2 slab lasers power remote welding system

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Rofin-Baasel UK (Daventry, Northants, UK; www.rofin-baasel.co.uk) incorporates efficient and reliable CO2 slab laser sources into its remote welding system (RWS). The laser system is mounted above the working area, on a gantry, with the laser beam being delivered to the working area below by a series of mirrors. The complete system is enclosed by perimeter safety guarding, allowing for safe and easy operation. Depending upon the application being considered, the system can incorporate one of a range of CO2 slab lasers. The nearly perfectly Gaussian beam of the Rofin slab laser gives a depth of focus measured in tens of millimeters, and the effective working envelope of the RWS has now been increased to 1500mm × 2000mm, driven by the need to enhance application flexibility. With the capability to operate continuously on a three-shift pattern, approximately 20 million welding cycles equating to more than 300km of weld joint, can be generated without replacing any of the typical system wear parts.

CO2 laser optics for pattern cuttingand engraving

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Field-replacement, OEM-quality CO2 laser optics for virtually all popular low-power lasers used in automated pattern cutting and engraving applications are available from Laser Research Optics (Providence, RI; www.laserresearch.net). CO2 beam delivery optics are optimized for use at 10.6µm and are offered in 0.5 to 1.5 in. dia. sizes, with focal lengths from 1 to 25 in. in 0.5 in. increments. Featuring 40–20 scratch-dig surface quality, <1/40th wave sphericity, and <0.2% total absorption values, these ZnSe optics can be coated to match specific phase and polarization requirements. Suitable drop-in replacements for Amada, Coherent, Cincinnati, Continuum, Epilog, Lambda Physik, Mazak, Synrad, and similar lasers, CO2 beam delivery optics meet OEM and ISO-10110 specifications. A full range of mirrors and reflectors made from silicon, molybdenum, and copper are also offered in sizes from 0.5 in. to 10mm thick.

Real-time, high-power CO2 laser beam profiler

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Ophir-Spiricon, (Logan, UT; www.ophir-spiricon.com) has announced the II-VI-CO2-58 industrial laser beam analyzer. The II-VI-CO2-58 is a laser beam profiling system that enables the quantitative measurement and viewing of high-power CO2 beams. The system diagnoses faults quickly, in real-time, and corrects issues related to beam stability, alignment, tuning, and optimization. The II-VI-CO2-58 industrial laser beam analyzer is a portable device that can be used to quickly and easily spot check performance on a variety of laser-based machines–in one or more facilities, or in the field. The system’s 58mm clear aperture enables the user to measure large laser beams. The ability to handle up to 10kW of power makes it useful for high-power CO2 lasers. With the ability to produce up to 48 images per second, users can view transient laser performance in real time. Other systems can take up to 10 seconds to create a single image and mask real-time transient responses.

Fiber laser marking system

Technifor’s (Miribel, France; www.technifor.com) TF420 fiber laser marking system provides fast component marking in the aerospace, automotive, medical, general mechanical engineering, and electronics sectors. The TF420 has a marking power of up to 20W to provide consistent, high-contrast character quality on a wide range of materials and difficult surfaces, such as castings. The compact laser unit can mark at up to 2.5m/s and can be integrated in any orientation to mark metals, plastics, ceramics, and many other materials. The laser beam is generated directly in a special fiber doped with the rare earth element Ytterbium. It produces a beam at the same wavelength as YAG and has similar marking functionality. The fiber laser is more compact and the lightweight aluminum head of the TF420 measures 375mm long x 139mm wide x 202mm high.

Plastic and stainless steel materials

EOS GmbH (Krailling, Germany; www.eos.info) has launched two new commercial materials that increase the range of prototyping and manufacturing capabilities of EOS’s equipment. The new plastic, PrimePart DC, is an impact-resistant polyamide with a tensile strength of 48MPa. It has an elongation at break of 50%, which is about twice as high as those of previously available materials. The material is well suited for automotive components, such as interior parts, and also for aerospace applications. For direct metal laser sintering, new EOS StainlessSteel PH1 offers high hardness, good corrosion resistance, and good mechanical properties, matching the traits of stainless steels currently in use in the medical and aerospace industries. It complements the existing 17-4 EOS StainlessSteel GP1.

High-performance wafer processing systems

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J P Sercel Associates (Manchester, NH; www.jpsalaser.com) is unveiling its IX-4000 series of high-throughput, high-speed Class 1 laser workstations. There are two systems in the 4000 series; the IX-4100 ChromaDice and IX-4600 CromAblate. Both are designed for automated wafer processing with the ability to handle up to 300mm wafers. The IX-4100 is designed for wafer singulation applications, while the IX-4600 is ideal for LED production, selective wafer annealing, micro-drilling, thin film patterning, 3-D micromachining, and other applications. JPSA IX-4100 series systems employ UV laser energy in a fast, low-stress method of singulation that minimizes chip breakage after cutting, for higher yields, with kerfs as narrow as 2.5µm, and minimal debris generation in a vibration-free process. The IX-4600 is a UV excimer-based laser system that uses proprietary and patented UV laser technology to produce high-brightness LEDs through a patented lift-off method. The IX-4600 ChromAblate can micromachine features to 2µm or be configured for large area exposure of up to 5mm x 5mm.

500W laser power detector

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This 500W fan-cooled laser power detector (model number UP55G-500F-H12) is manufactured by Gentec EO (Quebec, QC, Canada; www.gentec-eo.com). The detector is designed for production environments where water cooling is not easily available. The new detector is equipped with Gentec-EO’s well-known absorber for high damage thresholds. Spectral range is 0.19–11µm. Maximum measurable power is 500W. Noise equivalent power is 15mW (nom.). Rise time is 2.8 sec (nom.) with Gentec-EO TPM 300CE, DUO, SOLO, or P_LINK monitors. Sensitivity is 0.06mV/W. Calibration uncertainty is ±2.5%, including linearity with power and with Gentec-EO monitor. Repeatability is ±0.5%. Dimensions are 120mm (H) x 120mm (W) x 135mm (D). Weight (head only) is 2.75 kg. The effective area is 23.76cm2.

Powerful blue-violet laser modules

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New from Photonic Products Ltd. (Hatfield Broad Oak, Herts, UK; www.photonic-products.com) are powerful 35mW and 60mW versions of the 405nm (blue-violet) Photon laser diode modules with TTL modulation. These modules are for use in power-hungry applications such as industrial and medical imaging and inspection, high resolution printing, and other emerging technologies. The 405nm Photon laser modules produce an elliptical output beam of 3.5 x 2mm with the added advantage of TTL modulation input, which will accept signals from DC up to 1kHz maximum and can be used to enable, inhibit, or modulate the laser. The glass AR-coated aspherical lens may be adjusted to produce either a collimated beam or focused spot. The standard lens may be replaced by other optical systems such as line generators. Beam divergence is typically <0.6 x 0.3mrad. Operating temperature range is -10 to +50°C. The modules are cylindrical, measure 12mm dia. x 43mm length, and consist of an aluminum housing, laser diode, drive circuit, and collimating lens.

70W green mode-locked picosecond lasers

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With this new PS line of high-power, mode-locked picosecond lasers from Photonics Industries International Inc. (Bohemia, NY; www.photonix.com), up to 120W in the IR (1064nm) can be converted to up to 80W in the green (532nm), 30W UV (355nm), or 10W DUV (266nm), while still maintaining the TEM00 mode quality. The repetition rate mode is locked fixed at 80MHz and the pulse width is <25ps. Such high-power picosecond lasers enable a host of novel emerging applications that demand the higher peak powers achievable from such commercial grade picosecond lasers.

Microprocessing laser

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The TruMicro 7050 from TRUMPF (Farmington, CT; www.us.trumpf.com) is productive for ablative microprocessing tasks. Based on disk laser technology, the laser covers applications requiring high average output powers and microsecond pulses. These short pulses are generated using Q-switch technology. Delivering more than 500W, the TruMicro 7050 provides high output power while maintaining a high beam quality of 4mm*mrad, making this laser useful for remote cutting, drilling, and ablation processes. Its scanner connection also allows processing of complex shapes, opening up applications such as edge delamination of thin film solar cells and preparation of coated, tailored blanks for welding. The beam is transported from the laser to the workpiece by a laser light cable, a feature that allows easy integration of the unit into systems.

Cylindrical and flat optics

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Hellma USA (Plainview, NY; www.hellmausa.com) distributes Hellma Optik Jena’s line of fully certified cylindrical and flat optics, including plano concave, convex, crossed, toroids, and aspherical. Radii from 10mm to 5m with sizes as large as 1m are possible. Flats include wedges, prisms, beam splitters, corner cubes, windows, mirrors, etc. Multiple materials, diffusion bonding, and ultrasonic drilling capabilities provide the capability for unique custom designs.

Bottled gas mixer

For bottled gas with 300 bar filling pressure, Witt-Gasetechnik GmbH & Co. KG (Witten, Germany; www.wittgas.com) now offers the BM-2M, which is connected directly to a gas cylinder without additional pressure control. The unit mixes two gases in any ratio with inlet pressures of up to 300 bar, achieving max. 8 bar outlet pressure (~116psi). Integrated relief valves protect the downstream system from overpressure. The system is certified for use with argon, helium, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen with a mixing accuracy of 1%. The mixer weighs 3.5kg, is extremely compact, and fits between the cylinders’ heads. The regulators can also be operated with gloves; and the aluminum housing withstands the effects of the weather.

Long wavelength laser diodes

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nLIGHT (Vancouver, WA; www.nlight.net) has extended the performance of its high-power long wavelength semiconductor laser diodes ranging from 1.4–2.1µm for medical, defense, and materials processing applications. At 1.9µm, the Pearl fiber-coupled module provides up to 20W output power from a single 400µm 0.22NA fiber with >10% wall-plug efficiency. Single-emitter chips produce up to 1.5W rated power on expansion matched substrates. At 1.4 and 1.5µm, the Pearl module produces up to 40W from a single 400µm 0.22NA fiber and >30% wall-plug efficiency. Single-emitter chips produce up to 3W rated power on expansion matched substrates.

Material for use as scanning mirrors and laser optics

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optoSiC AG (Baden-Baden, Germany; www.optosic.com) is launching the optoSiC+ material specifically developed for use as scanning mirrors and laser optics. Using special compacting techniques in the production process, optoSiC+ is a non-toxic, highly consistent adamantine material with an improved surface roughness guaranteed to Ra <2nm, thereby avoiding expensive CVD coatings due to its homogeneity and near-zero porosity. Engineers and stress analysts may now use the assured quality of optoSiC+ to predict dynamic flatness under peak acceleration conditions, survivability at full crash deceleration, and resonant frequencies. optoSiC+ has a flexural strength of 510 Mpa, a Young’s Modulus of 420 Gpa, and a Poisson’s Ratio of 0.17.

Molded miniature light pipes

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Docter Optics (Neustadt an der Orla, Germany; http://docter-optics.de) light pipes permit efficient, economical homogenization of light by using process technology that permits production of high quality, economic pipes. The company has developed technology that permits economical production of miniature light pipes of optical glass with a high slenderness ratio and, e.g., a diameter of 2-3mm for a length of only 8-10mm. The production of these special free-form lenses is one of the company’s core competencies. For example, the company can offer light pipes with high slenderness ratio and lengths of up to 70mm that can be used to modify the beam angle of LEDs (for example, from 60° to 30°), concentrate solar radiation, or reshape beams of light, for example, from rectangular to round.

Three-axis beam control laser marker

The Keyence (Woodcliff Lake, NJ; www.keyence.com) MD-V9900 series has a high-speed, high quality YVO4 laser marker that can mark not only in the X and Y direction, but also in the Z direction. This unique 3-axis motion allows for a 42mm variable focal length, distortion-free 300x300mm marking area, and the ability to clearly mark on difficult shapes (cylinders, cones, inclined planes). The MD-V9000 offers a dual end pumping cavity and good power stability. Marking can be done on inclines, cylinders, or circular cones at speeds up to 12,000mm/s without compromising character clarity. With the MD-V’s variable focal length, maximum spot position can be set at any focal length within a 42mm range. This range of focal length reduces installation time and cost by eliminating the need for a mechanical stage that adjusts during product changeovers, or when it is necessary to mark products of varying heights.

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