Rotary-disk laser betters its own record

After demonstrating early last year a record-high-power Q-switched diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) laser-72.8 W at 50 kHz in 69 ns pulses for an ytterbium-yttrium aluminum garnet (Yb-YAG) rotary-disk laser at 1030 nm.

Apr 1st, 2007

After demonstrating early last year a record-high-power Q-switched diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) laser-72.8 W at 50 kHz in 69 ns pulses for an ytterbium-yttrium aluminum garnet (Yb-YAG) rotary-disk laser at 1030 nm (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/245257)-researchers at Sparkle Optics (Rolling Hills Estates, CA) have achieved two more milestones by demonstrating a 214 W Q-switched diffraction-limited laser at 1030 nm at 43% optical efficiency and an 87 W diffraction-limited laser at 515 nm that operates from 40 to 100 kHz at 18% optical efficiency. The high-power pulsed rotary-disk laser at the fundamental wavelength of 1 µm will enable high-power laser sources from deep-ultraviolet to long-wave infrared in the near future.

The introduction of motion in the design of solid-state lasers overcomes the thermal limitation in power scaling of bulk solid-state devices, and the use of a free-space resonator overcomes the mode-area limitation of fiber lasers for pulsed applications. A 1030 nm laser operating at 85 W has been used to drill 60 µm holes in 3-mm-thick type 304 stainless steel in 3.4 seconds, which is a much faster drilling rate than the traditional EDM (electrical-discharge-machining) processes. Contact Santanu Basu at basu@sparkleoptics.com.

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