JENA, GERMANY - High-power diode lasers are the most effective artificial light sources. This type of laser’s use in the industrial field still is in the early stages and its potential in general has largely yet to be explored.
In the research and development department of the Jenoptik Laserdiode GmbH, part of the Jenoptik Group, semiconductor bars from various manufacturers were examined as part of a project funded by BMBF (BRILASI) for achievable total performance in continuous-wave mode. According to the company, the maximum capacity of material, layers, installation technology, cooling method, etc. were all taken into account. It was here that a new record was achieved: 454 W in CW mode was measured from a semiconductor bar with the dimensions 10 mm x 2 mm and a wavelength of 940 nm. According to Jenoptik, the company’s innovative cooling system of the semiconductor bar, in connection with its high electro-optical efficiency, made the operation at 580 A possible.
The semiconductor material in question was produced at the Jenoptik Diode Lab GmbH (Berlin), also a member of the Jenoptik Group. The company was founded two years ago just for this purpose: to push the performance of semiconductor lasers into uncharted territory and thereby broaden the use of these lasers. Specifically focussing on influencing emission characteristics, efficiency and thermal behaviour is the key to successful laser bar development.
Studying the behavior of high-power diode lasers being pushed to the limits should lead to improvements in the products of the Jenoptik Laserdiode GmbH. Currently the standard line of products offers up to 120 W for actively cooled und 60 W for passively cooled semiconductor lasers. According to the company, the performance of Jenoptik Diode Lab’s laser diodes is a result of their high beam quality, narrow spectral line width, and high output power.
In related news, Jenoptik Diode Lab has begun construction of its new laser-diode production facility in Berlin. At the new facility, using a process common to semiconductor production, the company intends to structure 3-inch gallium arsenide wafers for later processing into high-performance diode lasers in Jena. In addition to providing for its own production needs, Jenoptik will supply external customers with these laser bars as well. The company plans to invest 14 million euros (US$17.3 million) in the project and create 40 new jobs; production is expected to begin in early summer 2006.