This paper presents a nanosecond speed KTN varifocal lens. The tuning principle of varifocal lens is based on the high-speed refractive index modulation from the nanosecond speed tunable electric field. A response time on the order of nanoseconds was experimentally demonstrated, which is the fastest varifocal lens reported so far. The results confirmed that the tuning speed of the KTN varifocal lens could be significantly increased by avoiding the electric field induced phase transition. Such a nanosecond speed varifocal lens can be greatly beneficial for a variety of applications that demand high speed axial scanning, such as high-resolution 3D imaging and high-speed 3D printing.
In this paper, we present a novel large capacity (a 1000+ channel) time division multiplexing (TDM) laser beam combining technique by harnessing a state-of-the-art nanosecond speed potassium tantalate niobate (KTN) electro-optic (EO) beam deflector as the time division multiplexer. The major advantages of TDM approach are: (1) large multiplexing capability (over 1000 channels), (2) high spatial beam quality (the combined beam has the same spatial profile as the individual beam), (3) high spectral beam quality (the combined beam has the same spectral width as the individual beam, and (4) insensitive to the phase fluctuation of individual laser because of the nature of the incoherent beam combining. The quantitative analyses show that it is possible to achieve over one hundred kW average power, single aperture, single transverse mode solid state and/or fiber laser by pursuing this innovative beam combining method, which represents a major technical advance in the field of high energy lasers. Such kind of 100+ kW average power diffraction limited beam quality lasers can play an important role in a variety of applications such as laser directed energy weapons (DEW) and large-capacity high-speed laser manufacturing, including cutting, welding, and printing.