27 September 2011

Jenoptik investing €10m to double production of GaAs laser bars

Jenoptik Group of Jena, Germany is investing about €10m to expand manufacturing of optoelectronic components (high-power laser bars) at its site in the Berlin-Adlershof technology park. The existing production facility has reached its capacity limit and is being expanded due to rapidly increasing demand (particularly from Asia), as well as for future projects, including the progressing internationalization of the firm’s Lasers & Material Processing division.

The new facility will be equipped with manufacturing technology for automated production designed to process 4-inch gallium arsenide wafers. “We will also be reaching unit volumes that will enable us to not only achieve economies of scale but also a highly automated and state-of-the-art production process,” says Jenoptik chairman Dr Michael Mertin. The new production facility is expected to begin operation at the start of 2013.

Jenoptik has had its own production facilities in Berlin-Adlershof since 2006. The optoelectronic base material and its efficient production are being developed by Jenoptik in close collaboration with the Ferdinand-Braun-Institute, Leibniz Institute for High Frequency Technology (FBH) in Berlin-Adlershof. JENOPTIK Diode Lab (spun off from FBH in 2002) is an example of expertise and technology transfer. Jenoptik says that it is hence part of a network of research institutions at the Science and Technology Park Adlershof, and benefits from being located in close proximity to its technology partner. Currently Jenoptik employs 70 people at Berlin, mainly in the Lasers & Material Processing and Optical Systems divisions. As a result of the investment, staffing will rise by the year 2013 in accord with expected future growth.

The laser bars from Berlin form the basis of the high-power diode lasers developed and made in Jena, for which the main focus is on lifetime, beam quality, output power and efficient mass production, says Jenoptik. Since Jenoptik Group controls the entire manufacturing technology chain, including epitaxial processing (applying the optically active layers to the GaAs substrate), the laser bars are also sold to customers worldwide.

Jenoptik says that in recent years there has been a significant rise in demand for high-power diode lasers, due mainly to new laser applications. High-power diode lasers are increasingly conquering mass volume markets (e.g. direct laser material processing in industrial environments and in medicine/aesthetics). As an excitation source they are also needed for modern laser technologies such as thin-disk and fiber lasers as well as diode direct lasers. These types of lasers are already achieving high growth rates and will continue to do so in the future, reckons the firm. The main advantages of high-power diode lasers are their high efficiency, compact design and low operating voltage, it adds. The capacity range of the lasers can be adapted variably to the requirements of the respective field of application.

Tags: Jenoptik GaAs laser bars

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