26 June 2023
ams OSRAM launches new generation of blue and green lasers with higher beam quality and tighter tolerances
ams OSRAM GmbH of Premstätten, Austria and Munich, Germany has introduced improved blue and green lasers based on a new generation of its diode emitter chip. The chip’s performance enables manufacturers to increase the value of laser modules and devices aimed at applications such as leveling and scanning. Enhancements enabled by the new lasers include a smaller power supply, a more homogeneous beam, and more efficient coupling to optical fiber.
The improved PLT3 products are available in a TO38 metal can package, and the PLT5 products in a TO56 package. Optical power output is 100mW for the blue lasers, and 10-50mW for the green lasers.
Optical power output, wavelength options and beam shape are maintained from the previous generation of PLT3 and PLT5 products, but the new versions offer improved beam quality and a narrower distribution across production units of values for key operating parameters.
“By choosing the latest versions of the popular PLT family of laser diodes, customers benefit from excellent beam quality and tight tolerances, making it easier for them to produce better laser module devices,” says Martin Wittmann, senior director product marketing for Visualization & Sensing.
The new chip improvement in beam quality means that laser module manufacturers gain coupling efficiency when light is coupled into a waveguide or glass fiber, giving greater flexibility in the specification of the required output power from the laser source. In addition, the new PLT3 and PLT5 lasers have a more homogeneous beam, improving a laser module’s ability to illuminate a surface or object uniformly.
Tighter tolerances reduce maximum power requirement
ams OSRAM has enhanced its laser diode fabrication technology to narrow the distribution of values for key operating parameters across the population of production units. This makes it easier for laser module manufacturers to maintain the required tolerance in the driver circuits.
In addition, the new lasers feature lower maximum operating current and voltage, as well as threshold current. For example, the maximum threshold current for the PLT5 518FB_P 30mW green laser has been reduced by about 25% from 60mA to 45mA in the latest generation of PLT5 products.
The tighter tolerances, and the lower operating current, mean that the power supply to the laser can be shrunk. The space and power savings enabled by use of the new PLT laser diodes is an important benefit for portable battery-powered devices in particular, says the firm.
Scanning applications enhanced by use of high-performance green lasers
A typical application that can benefit from the new chip is barcode scanning with green lasers. Large warehouses or open-air storage units suffer problems with the use of traditional red laser scanners, because the red dot is difficult to see over a long distance or in bright daylight. This increases the risk that an operator scans the wrong item.
The human eye is much more sensitive to green light than to red, however, so green laser scanners are less affected by interference from ambient light and hence becoming increasingly popular in laser leveling and scanning applications. Many laser scanners are mobile, battery-powered products: they will benefit substantially from the reduced maximum operating current drawn by the new PLT family of green laser diodes, extending run-time between battery charges.
ams OSRAM is showing the new PLT3 and PLT5 laser diodes in booth A2.526.1 at the Laser World of Photonics 2023 exhibition in Munich, Germany (27–30 June). Its display includes a mobile computer with an integrated barcode scanner featuring the new PLT5 520EB_Q 20mW green laser diode.
New product availability
The PLT3 and PLT5 single-mode lasers based on the new diode chip have a typical peak wavelength of 450nm (blue) or 520nm (green). The products available at launch are the blue laser with optical power output of 100mW and green lasers in 10mW, 20mW, 30mW and 50mW output options. They can be ordered now in production volumes and will replace the existing blue and green single-mode laser products. A new 110mW green laser diode will be introduced at a later date.