2 September 2022
TRUMPF introduces single-mode VCSEL platform for industrial sensing products
TRUMPF Photonic Components GmbH of Ulm, Germany (part of the TRUMPF Group) – which manufactures vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) and photodiodes for the consumer electronics, datacoms, industrial sensing, heating and automotive markets – has unveiled a new product platform for its single-mode VCSEL products for industrial and professional applications.
VCSELs for optical sensing in industrial applications or test & measurement equipment in laboratories must be efficient and highly accurate because of their role in quality management, being used in quality and safety monitoring systems. These needs are addressed with the new VCSEL platform. “It’s great to see how the investments we made in the state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment are paying off, giving us optimum product and supply quality,” says Ralph Gudde, VP marketing & sales. “Innovative product design and short product development cycles are addressing the rigorous demands on industrial applications, ranging from spectroscopic oxygen sensing to robust data communication links in CT scanners.”
High output performance, but lower power consumption
The next generation of single-mode VCSEL products offers lower power consumption while maintaining high output performance, yielding higher energy efficiency. The single-mode VCSEL comes with a Gaussian-shaped beam profile and stable, linear polarization. The latter improves its illumination quality and resolution. Therefore, high-volume and highly integrated industrial applications are enabled with the new single-mode VCSEL, which is available in various wavelengths from 760nm to 855nm.
VCSEL suitable for industrial applications
Due to easy operation, temperature and wavelength stability, and polarization locking of the emitting light, TRUMPF says that its VCSEL products are suitable for industrial sensing technologies like spectroscopy and time-of-flight (ToF). “Our leading customers highly value our continuous investments and commitments in this industrial business,” says Gudde. “We received several multi-year contracts from market leaders in oxygen sensing for our single-mode VCSEL solution in TO packages,” he adds. For easy product integration in industrial environments and for the smart integration of additional features (such as temperature control), the VCSELs are available in various packaging options, such as hermetically sealed TO packages with TEC (thermo-electric cooler) and thermistor.
How the single-mode VCSEL serves many applications
VCSELs are used as a light source in various industrial processes and applications because they are highly reliable, and their light properties enable demanding sensing applications.
In industrial robots for example, optical encoders serve as high-precision position control sensors. With its high-quality Gaussian-shaped beam profile and polarization-controlled emitted light, the next-generation single-mode VCSEL serves this application as a coherent light source. The reliability of the single-mode VCSELs leads to a high service life of 10 years or more.
When it comes to in-situ measurements, VCSELs serve as reference lasers in FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) spectrometers, enabling the quick identification of compounds in the environment. FTIR analysis is used in automotive, pharmaceutical, biomedical or clinical fields. The wavelength and power stability over time make the VCSEL the perfect infrared light source for this application.
Another application field is in CT scanners in the medical field, in which the single-mode VCSEL serves as an optical link to read out detectors and, in doing so, replaces copper interconnects.