Product focus: Lasers


Blue Sky Research's ChromaLASE series of free-space lasers is designed for OEM applications such as biomedical and analytical instrumentation, alignment, and semiconductor metrology. Standard features include thermoelectric coolers (TECs) and integrated drive, control, and monitor electronics.

The company's other laser products include laser diodes (LDs), LD subassemblies, singlemode-fibre coupled lasers, and integrated modules. Lasers are available in several visible and near-infrared wavelengths between 405 and 980 nm. All offer stable power over a wide temperature range, low noise, high-power efficiency, small form factor, and diffraction-limited beam quality. The model 635, a complete 635-nm solid state LD module that delivers 25-mW output power with improved beam pointing and stability in a single compact assembly, is designed for both HeNe replacement and OEM applications. The model 405 features a 25-mW output LD with proprietary beam-collimating optics that generates a circular, diffraction-limited, low-divergence beam. The module includes an integrated 6.5-V DC power supply. A variable power control operated by a potentiometer on the rear of the laser housing makes power adjustment simple. The laser module measures 38×158 mm and is designed for direct mounting to circular, square, or standard 44.5-mm HeNe laser holders.

Distributor AMS Technologies offers new higher-density laser-diode (LD) arrays from Nuvonyx. The array's higher brightness results in a higher pump fluence of optical energy for a diode pumped laser system, producing higher gain and consequently smaller sizes of the final laser system. High-density bars with 60-W continuous wave at 1.6-mm pitch between each bar and pump arrays up to 1200 W are available with 808, 915, 940, and 975 nm. The majority of high-power diode lasers are used to pump solid state lasers optically. Increasing the power density by increasing the number of emitters in a given height eases the optical setup to deliver the requisite fluence to the pump region or focus the light in the desired spot. Current diode pump lasers can now be upgraded in power with the new pump design, which delivers more power per square centimeter than previous designs. This added pump capacity enables existing lasers to be operated at a lower current for enhanced lifetime or to provide more power to the process for improved performance. The new high-power high-density LDs give designers the chance to increase system performance while reducing the size of their system, an important capability in industrial-laser markets because of the constant demand to get more performance from existing and future lasers.

Lambda Photometrics introduced a range of systems designed for pulse-picking and regenerative amplifier applications. Designed and manufactured by Conoptics, these systems use electro-optic-modulator technology to maximise performance. Pulse-picking is a technique for selecting individual pulses from a free-running mode-locked laser, typically a Ti:Sapphire tunable laser. Each Conoptics pulse-picker system comprises an optical-modulator head, a modulator driver amplifier, and a synchronous countdown unit. Choice of specific components depends on the wavelength and performance specifications required, but typically the system achieves repetition rates ranging from single-shot to 20-30 MHz, gate widths <18 nsec, and wavelengths from 500 to 2,000 nm. Lambda Photometrics says the pulse-pickers feature low-voltage electro-optic technology, enabling high switching rates, in addition to "zero beam deflection" and low dispersion, which is particularly suited for tunable Ti:Sapphire applications.

Bavarian Photonics, a member of the TuiLaser Group, added to its portfolio of Aion Industrial-V lasers (based on Nd:YVO4) with the Aion Industrial 355-1-V and Aion Industrial 355-3-V. Both operate in the ultraviolet region at 355 nm. The Aion Industrial-V offers a pulse width of around 15 nsec at 50 kHz. It is available with a choice of two average power levels of 1 and 3 W, respectively. Bavarian says these lasers exhibit "superior beam quality" of M2<1.5; pulse-to-pulse stability of <3% rms at 30 kHz; and precision power control. The modular design and long lifetime of the diode pumped DPSS-laser series components ensure maximum reliability and make the lasers extremely low in maintenance. Typical applications for this laser source include micromachining of various materials, wafer dicing, UV stereo lithography, microvia drilling, and polymer cutting. Parent group Tui Laser has been a provider of compact excimer laser technology for more than 10 years, including highly developed laser products, customized solutions, and related accessories.

Power Technology introduced the IQ2 higher-power violet instrument-quality laser-diode (LD) module for high-end OEM instrumentation and analytical applications. The laser emits 20-mW output power at 405 nm (±10 nm) and has anamorphic correcting prisms to produce a circular, astigmatism free beam rivalling that of large, expensive gas lasers. It has a precision current source and PID temperature controller for analytical applications requiring high stability of both wavelength and output power. The module, which can operate in continuous wave mode or with analogue or TTL modulation, measures 37 mm in diameter and 190 mm long. Features include an adjustable focus and quality glass optics to achieve optical superiority and optional beam-expanding optics for such applications as laser-induced fluorescence, spectroscopy, interferometery, high-resolution printing, microscopy, and biomedical analysis. Photonic Solutions is the U.K. distributor for the Power Technology range of products as well as a variety of other companies' lasers and laser systems, detectors, and spectroscopy equipment.

Pandatel AG launches its two-wire G.SHSDL modem called the BM-G. With data speeds between 192 kbits/sec and 2.312 Mbits/sec at the terminal end and a maximum range between 3.7 and 7 km, the BM-G supports efficient and flexible data transmission. The modem is suited for a broad range of applications and expected to attract the interest of small, mid-sized, and large enterprises as well as national and international network carriers. The modem facilitates the setup of connections to SDH networks as well as LAN and point-to-point connections. The data speed of the BM-G modem along the transmission path can be set variably in steps of 64 kbits/sec. G.SHDSL is based on the TC-PAM (trellis-coded pulse amplitude modulation) line code. TC-PAM supports higher data speeds and, because of the lower level of complexity, better interworking with the second modem. Different variants of the BM-G are available (e.g., with V.35 or G.703 support). In the case of the version with the Ethernet interface module, the BM-G can be employed as a bridge for the connection of two networks; it supports the automatic detection of connection speed (10/100-Mbit/sec autosensing) and transmission of VLAN frames up to 1,522 bytes. The modem comes as a 3-U rack card or desktop unit with RA-T/3 housing.

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