22 February 2013 Ultrafast disk technology enables next generation micromachining laser sources
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Abstract
Ultrashort pulsed lasers based on thin disk technology have entered the 100 W regime and deliver several tens of MW peak power without chirped pulse amplification. Highest uptime and insensitivity to back reflections make them ideal tools for efficient and cost effective industrial micromachining. Frequency converted versions allow the processing of a large variety of materials. On one hand, thin disk oscillators deliver more than 30 MW peak power directly out of the resonator in laboratory setups. These peak power levels are made possible by recent progress in the scaling of the pulse energy in excess of 40 μJ. At the corresponding high peak intensity, thin disk technology profits from the limited amount of material and hence the manageable nonlinearity within the resonator. Using new broadband host materials like for example the sesquioxides will eventually reduce the pulse duration during high power operation and further increase the peak power. On the other hand industry grade amplifier systems deliver even higher peak power levels. At closed-loop controlled 100W, the TruMicro Series 5000 currently offers the highest average ultrafast power in an industry proven product, and enables efficient micromachining of almost any material, in particular of glasses, ceramics or sapphire. Conventional laser cutting of these materials often requires UV laser sources with pulse durations of several nanoseconds and an average power in the 10 W range. Material processing based on high peak power laser sources makes use of multi-photon absorption processes. This highly nonlinear absorption enables micromachining driven by the fundamental (1030 nm) or frequency doubled (515 nm) wavelength of Yb:YAG. Operation in the IR or green spectral range reduces the complexity and running costs of industrial systems initially based on UV light sources. Where UV wavelength is required, the TruMicro 5360 with a specified UV crystal life-time of more than 10 thousand hours of continues operation at 15W is an excellent choice. Currently this is the world’s most powerful industrial sub-10 ps UV laser.
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Oliver H. Heckl, Oliver H. Heckl, Sascha Weiler, Sascha Weiler, Severin Luzius, Severin Luzius, Ivo Zawischa, Ivo Zawischa, Dirk Sutter, Dirk Sutter, } "Ultrafast disk technology enables next generation micromachining laser sources", Proc. SPIE 8603, High-Power Laser Materials Processing: Lasers, Beam Delivery, Diagnostics, and Applications II, 86030B (22 February 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2003494; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2003494
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