new class of applications are being pursued with QPC semiconductor
lasers because of their high brightness, high power performance.
Traditionally, diode lasers have been used in printing, defense,
medical, and materials processing applications because of the device
compactness, high power capability, and high electrical to optical
efficiency. However, the applications have been limited due to the low
brightness performance of typical diode lasers. QPC’s high
brightness, high power semiconductor laser technology is enabling new
applications in these markets, allowing the end user to achieve high
brightness and enjoy all the benefits of traditional diode lasers.
common application of semiconductor lasers is pumping the gain medium
of solid state and fiber laser systems. In diode pumped laser
architectures, the semiconductor laser light
“pumps” or excites the gain medium which is
configured inside its own laser cavity. The pump light is absorbed by
the crystal or fiber, and a solid state or fiber laser is created.
Diode pumping has significant advantages over traditional approaches
that utilize lamps as pumps. In fact, nearly every important parameter
of a laser system is improved with diode pumped architectures including
system size, weight, performance and cost of ownership.
The most dramatic advantage to diode pumping is the improved efficiency
of the laser system. Lamps are inefficient, and most of the light that
the lamps produce is not absorbed by the gain medium and is converted
into heat that then has to be removed from the system. Diode lasers are
highly efficient, and they emit light over a narrow portion of the
spectrum which can be designed to closely match the absorption window
of the gain medium.
Since laser beam quality degrades with thermal distortions in the gain
medium, the high efficiency diode pumped approach reduces the heat
absorbed by the gain medium and improves the final beam quality of
diode pumped laser. Moreover, the high efficiency of the laser reduces
system complexity, operating cost, and size by reducing the amount of
waste heat in the system.
cost is further reduced since diode laser reliability is far better
than lamps which need changing on a weekly or monthly basis.