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23 January 2007


Bookham shows expanded VCSEL and high-power laser diode ranges at Photonics West

At this week's Photonics West in San Jose, CA, USA, Bookham Inc is debuting its full portfolio of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers for the first time since acquiring Avalon Photonics and its VCSEL technology in March 2006. Since then, Bookham has shipped over 1 million VCSELs.

Bookham is introducing two new products to the portfolio:

  • a polarization-stable 850nm single-mode VCSEL, designed for optical computer mice, which provides a stable, Gaussian beam in a range of operating conditions and at low-power consumption (less than 10mW);
  • an 850nm high-power VCSEL array, designed to provide distributed laser illumination with high temperature stability and narrow spectral linewidth.

"The unique advantages of VCSEL technology are increasing its attractiveness to new markets and applications," says chief commercial officer Steve Turley. "Bookham has long been a proponent of diversification in the optical component industry and the acquisition of Avalon Photonics has continued this strategy, adding a new chip technology to our already broad chip design."

Bookham now offers single- and multi-mode VCSELs for a range of datacom, sensing and measurement markets. The products are being used in computer mice, optical encoders, datacom transceivers, atomic clocks, automotive illumination and gas sensing, the firm says. Bookham has co-authored a presentation titled "A TCAD approach to robust ESD design in oxide-confined VCSELs" in the VCSELs XI conference, Session 1 (24 January).

Bookham is also unveiling an expanded portfolio of high-power laser diodes, including a range of new higher-performance lasers for industrial applications as well as devices that address medical and analytical applications.

New products include:

  • A range of higher-power laser diodes for pumping next-generation fiber and disk lasers, and for direct applications. These include an ultrahigh-power 8W 940nm single-emitter multimode module, a higher-power integrated pump block that uses several pump diodes, and higher-power 60W 20% and 80W 30% fill-factor bars on a passive cooler for collimation and fiber-coupling requirements. Also, all 9xxnm bar products now feature an improved lateral far-field, boosting brightness by up to 30% at a conversion efficiency of more than 60%.
  • 808nm single-emitter multimode devices and 10xxnm laser diode bar products for the medical and analytical markets. For the single emitters, pigtailed modules and now also C-mount versions are available. The 10xxnm laser diode bars (designed for the direct replacement of Nd:YAG lasers) can also be used to scale the power of wavelength-multiplexed diode systems.

By providing more laser diode pump power and brightness, the expanded portfolio meets the need of customers to achieve lower dollars per Watt for the competitive market for fiber, disk, Nd:YAG and direct diode lasers, says Berthold Schmidt, director of product marketing for High Power Lasers. It also allows Bookham to target the vast medical and analytical markets, he adds.

*In partnership with several customers, at Photonics West Bookham is demonstrating end-applications of its products for the first time, including:

  • direct systems using 9xxnm laser diode bars for welding, marking, soldering, thermal processing and medical applications;
  • fiber lasers and pump blocks using 9xxnm laser diode single emitters for material processing, fiber-laser pumping, micromachining and medical applications;
  • frequency-conversion visible lasers using 9xxnm single-mode diodes for display applications and biomedical instrumentation.