25 January 2010


Oclaro claims brightest, most powerful conductively cooled laser diode bars

At this week’s Photonics West 2010 trade show in San Francisco (23–28 January), Oclaro Inc of San Jose, CA, USA, which makes optical components for industrial applications, is showcasing two new conductively cooled laser diode bars: a 80W 20% fill-factor bar and a 50W 18% fill-factor ‘half-bar’.

High brightness in the 9xx nm to 10xx nm wavelength range simplifies the design and reduces the overall costs for equipment in multi-kilowatt direct diode applications, fiber laser pumping, medical and industrial manufacturing applications, says the firm.

Oclaro says that it has used its expertise in epitaxial design and mounting technology to reduce the filling factor of the 80W bar from 30% to 20%, while maintaining the output power of 80W and increasing the brightness by 50%. The 50W ‘half-bar’ delivers even greater brightness and, due to the reduced bar width, can offer much smaller smile values well below 1µm. Both products are conductively cooled mounted with hard solder on an industry standard CS type assembly that is fully compatible with previously released products.

Both new products reach conversion efficiencies greater than 60% at their operation points of 50W and 80W, making them very power efficient and saving costs related to power and heat management, says Oclaro. The small slow-axis divergence and small emitter width suits fiber-coupling and beam-shaping application in single- and multi-bar configurations. The wide wavelength range from 910nm to 1070nm enables wavelength combining for power scaling to multi-kilowatt levels.

The firm says that the new laser diode bars allow coupling to smaller fibers, as well as less stringent tolerances for alignment of beam shaping optics. They also reduce fiber-coupling losses by enabling smaller spot sizes, which increases overall efficiency and has a positive impact on cooling requirements for fiber couplers and system. Smaller and more compact systems can hence be created that leverage industry-standard components and automated processes, minimizing system complexity and decreasing cost.

“By offering an unparalleled combination of brightness, high power and cost savings in our laser diode bars, we believe our customers will deliver a new generation of advanced direct diode systems, fiber laser pumps and medical products,” says Yves LeMaitre, executive VP & division manager.

Also, similar to all Oclaro high-power laser products, the front facet of the bar is protected against catastrophic optical damage by the firm’s E2 mirror passivation process. In addition, telecom-grade AuSn (gold tin) hard solder makes the product suitable for demanding industrial and defense applications in both continuous-wave (CW) and hard-pulse operation modes.

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