Bookham is expanding its portfolio of high power laser diodes for the industrial market at Photonics West, where it will launch what it claims is the world’s most powerful commercially available continuous wave (CW) laser diode bar.
The 9xxnm 120W CW multimode laser diode bar, developed at the Bookham facility in Zurich, Switzerland, offers a significant increase in power for pumping of solid-state disk and fibre lasers.
Aside from pumps for CaTV amplifiers and visible SHG lasers, applications for the high power laser diodes include the pumping of solid-state lasers such as Nd:YAG lasers, fiber lasers and disc lasers.
These devices have applications in material processing, marking and printing, medical applications such as skin resurfacing and hair removal and military/aerospace applications ranging from laser warning and targeting to inter-satellite communications.
One of the core technologies that has driven the power achievement is Bookham’s proprietary E2 process, which passivates the laser’s front mirror. The aim of this passivation is to prevent Catastrophic Optical Mirror Damage (COMD), which is otherwise a common problem in the development of high brightness GaAs laser diodes.
Also of key importance is Bookham’s experience in mounting laser diodes using gold-tin soldering. This hard-soldering technique allows laser diodes to be driven at higher powers and temperatures with much better reliability than soft solders, especially in 1-Hz type on-off applications.