23 January 2012

Oclaro laser diodes enable development of first 15kW direct-diode laser systems

Optical component, module and subsystem maker Oclaro Inc of San Jose, CA, USA says its laser diodes have been designed into the industry’s first 15kW direct-diode fiber-coupled laser systems.

Featuring what is claimed to be the broadest wavelength range, the laser diodes scale from 910nm to 1070nm at high power levels and leading brightness to meet the demanding performance requirements of the next-generation 15kW systems. Oclaro is showcasing its complete line of laser diodes - which are currently shipping in volume to the industrial, semiconductor, automotive and materials processing markets - in booth 1101 at the SPIE Photonics West 2012 conference in San Francisco (24–26 January).

Oclaro says that 15kW and other multi-kilowatt systems suit applications such as metal welding, cladding and cutting, which continually require higher power to improve the performance of the laser system and process efficiency. Due to their output power, brightness and ‘colors’, Oclaro’s laser diodes have been driving the development of the next-generation laser systems. Because the power of the systems scales linearly with the number of wavelengths available for multiplexing, Oclaro’s ability to provide lasers with wavelengths from 910nm up to 1070nm with high power levels and high brightness is allowing users — for the first time — to design commercial fiber-coupled multi-kilowatt direct-diode laser systems that can meet and exceed 15kW.

One of the first customers designing next-generation 15kW laser systems is high-power diode laser system maker Laserline. Oclaro says that Laserline chose its direct-diode solutions because they deliver the power, brightness and reliability needed to bring 15kW direct-diode systems to market. In addition, Oclaro was able to provide Laserline with its in-house design and manufacturing expertise along with the capability to scale to volume quickly and cost effectively.

Oclaro says that key innovations of its direct-diode solutions include the following:

  • Optimization of the laser diode design structure. Oclaro has its own design capabilities in-house, enabling significant improvements in overall efficiency and design (with epitaxial engineering being one of Oclaro’s key competencies).
  • Expert soldering process. Telecom-grade AuSn (gold tin) hard solder make the Oclaro laser diodes suitable for demanding applications in continuous-wave (CW) and hard-pulse operation mode.
  • E2 Passivation Techniques. Like all Oclaro high-power lasers, the front facet is protected against catastrophic optical damage (COD) by the firm’s E2 mirror passivation process, which enables higher power densities on each laser diode (allowing power scaling of diodes).
  • Vertical Integration. By owning the laser diode development from initial design and wafer form to final product, Oclaro can deliver designs that reach the power, brightness and reliability required at leading cost structures, it is claimed.
  • Manufacturing strength. Oclaro's global R&D, chip fabs, assembly lines and supply chain enable users to enjoy faster time to market and volume capacity.

Oclaro’s portfolio of laser diodes include low-fill-factor bars from 50W to 80W and high-fill-factor conduction-cooled bars at 120W and active-cooled bars up to 200W. These products, all of which have a wavelength range of 910–1070nm, allow for wavelength multiplexing with 5 to 6 colors (assuming 30nm spacing).

Tags: Oclaro Laser diodes

Visit: www.oclaro.com

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