15 February 2006 Homogenization of high power diode laser beams for pumping and direct applications
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High power diode lasers have become an established source for numerous direct applications like metal hardening and polymer welding due to their high efficiency, small size, low cost and high reliability. These laser sources are also used for efficient pumping of solid state lasers as Nd:YAG lasers. To increase the output power of diode lasers up to several kilowatts, the emitters are scaled laterally by forming a diode laser bar and vertically by forming a diode laser stack. For most applications like hardening and illumination, though, the undefined far field distribution of most commercially available high power diode laser stacks states a major drawback of these devices. As single emitters and bars can fail during their lifetime, the near field distribution does not remain constant. To overcome these problems, the intensity distribution can be homogenized by a waveguide or by microoptic devices. The waveguide segments the far field distribution by several total internal reflections, and these segments are overlaid at the waveguide's exit surface. By the microoptic device, the near field is divided into beamlets which are overlaid by a field lens. Both approaches are presented, and realized systems are described.
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Martin Traub, Martin Traub, Hans-Dieter Hoffmann, Hans-Dieter Hoffmann, Heinz-Dieter Plum, Heinz-Dieter Plum, Kristin Wieching, Kristin Wieching, Peter Loosen, Peter Loosen, Reinhart Poprawe, Reinhart Poprawe, "Homogenization of high power diode laser beams for pumping and direct applications", Proc. SPIE 6104, High-Power Diode Laser Technology and Applications IV, 61040Q (15 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.645260; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.645260

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