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7 March 2014 Industry-grade high average power femtosecond light source
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Ultrashort pulses are capable of processing practically any material with negligible heat affected zone. Typical pulse durations for industrial applications are situated in the low picosecond-regime. Pulse durations of 5 ps or below are a well established compromise between the electron-phonon interaction time of most materials and the need for pulses long enough to suppress detrimental effects such as nonlinear interaction with the ablated plasma plume. However, sub-picosecond pulses can further increase the ablation efficiency for certain materials, depending on the available average power, pulse energy and peak fluence. Based on the well established TruMicro 5000 platform (first release in 2007, third generation in 2011) an Yb:YAG disk amplifier in combination with a broadband seed laser was used to scale the output power for industrial femtosecond-light sources: We report on a subpicosecond amplifier that delivers a maximum of 160 W of average output power at pulse durations of 750 fs. Optimizing the system for maximum peak power allowed for pulse energies of 850 μJ at pulse durations of 650 fs. Based on this study and the approved design of the TruMicro 5000 product-series, industrygrade, high average power femtosecond-light sources are now available for 24/7 operation. Since their release in May 2013 we were able to increase the average output power of the TruMicro 5000 FemtoEdition from 40 W to 80 W while maintaining pulse durations around 800 fs. First studies on metals reveal a drastic increase of processing speed for some micro processing applications.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
O. H. Heckl, S. Weiler, R. Fleischhaker, R. Gebs, A. Budnicki, M. Wolf, J. Kleinbauer, S. Russ, M. Kumkar, and D. H. Sutter "Industry-grade high average power femtosecond light source", Proc. SPIE 8972, Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XIV, 89720P (7 March 2014);

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