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Photonics Industries: Intracavity Harmonic Laser Pioneer

Photonics.com
Oct 2007
BOHEMIA, N.Y., Oct. 23, 2007 -- Innovative products and customer-focused support have been two critical factors in the success of Photonics Industries International Inc., a Bohemia, N.Y. (Long Island)-based maker of intracavity solid-state harmonic lasers for a wide variety of industrial and scientific applications.

Since its first high-power green harmonic laser was introduced in 1993, Photonics Industries has been creating harmonic solid-state lasers, especially Q-switched intracavity harmonic lasers, focusing on their industrial applications.

Founded in January 1993 by Yusong Yin, Photonics Industries introduced its original second harmonic Nd:YLF laser operated at >20mJ/pulse @ 1 kHz 527nm in 1993. Since then, it has been creating intracavity harmonic solid-state lasers with 22 issued patents and can now boast many “firsts” in the industry, such as the first 10-W solid-state ultraviolet lasers in 1997 and the first 60mJ @ 1-kHz solid-state green laser in 2007, said its marketing director, Joyce Kilmer, PhD. A team of experienced laser engineers and product managers includes 11 with PhDs.

phindustries2.jpgIn general, intracavity harmonic generators employ optically active crystals within the laser’s resonator cavity. The main advantage of intracavity harmonic generation is conversion efficiency and pulse-to-pulse stability, which enables the highest output powers available from any commercially available diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) laser system.

Kilmer said, "Historically, second and third harmonics of the fundamental wavelength could only be generated through the use of an external (to the laser’s cavity) nonlinear crystal. Intracavity harmonic generation was traditionally believed to be a chaotic phenomenon that yielded unpredictable results. However, through Photonics Industries' pioneering work along with others, the chaotic behavior of intracavity harmonic generation was proven to be untrue and, in fact, yields the highest output power available from any DPSS laser system."

He said Photonics Industries (PI) is able to achieve nearly 100 percent conversion efficiencies from its intracavity harmonic generation, as opposed to only ~50 percent from the use of external nonlinear crystals. "This enables intracavity DPSS lasers to deliver the highest average output powers and highest energy pulses attainable from such laser systems," he said. "Also, the optical power densities that impinge on the surface of the external crystals will typically degrade the external crystal. This often requires the external crystal’s usage to be monitored for its hours of use, and also, to be indexed as to the exact location that the beam impinges on the crystal."

wavelengths.gif
Photonics Industries' nanosecond laser product range
To increase the lifetime of the external crystal, a user is forced to perform additional routine maintenance to move the crystal, after a specified period of use, such that the beam impinges on a new part of the external crystal, Kilmer said.

Consequently, intracavity laser have a substantially longer maintenance-free lifetime than external cavity lasers. Since intracavity lasers have fewer parts, the overall reliability of the laser system is improved, since there are fewer individual constituent components to fail.

"All in all," Kilmer said, "there is no better price performance ratio available than PI’s intracavity harmonic generation DPSS systems."

With about two dozen patents to its credit, the company has also developed solid-state laser products for applications including material processing, remote sensing (LIDAR), micromachining, laser pumping, flat panel display repair, precision marking, laser welding, stereolithography rapid prototyping, wafer dicing, semiconductor inspection, biotechnology instrumentation, scientific research, high-speed particle imager velocimetry and solar cell scribing.

Its diode-pumped solid-state harmonic lasers include Nd:YLF, Nd:YAG, Nd:YVO4 and Ti:sapphire lasers with power from 100 mW to 100 W for wavelengths from 213, 266, 355, 532 and 1064 nm (with more than a thousand installed worldwide). It also offers diode-pumped, air-cooled DC series harmonic lasers; diode-pumped single-mode DS series harmonic lasers; diode-pumped multimode DM series harmonic lasers; tunable Ti:sapphire lasers; tunable intracavity optical parametric oscillators; quasicontinuous wave/mode-locked picosecond lasers; picosecond regenerative amplifiers; and narrow-bandwidth/long coherent length Q-switched lasers; in addition to custom systems.

"We are currently developing high-power picosecond lasers (up to ~80W at 532 nm) for a host of novel emerging applications that required the higher peak powers from such commercial grade picosecond lasers," Kilmer said.

In August, PI introduced the 60mJ/pulse at 527 nm DM60-527, a high-power, multimode laser that uses an Nd:YLF crystal in the pumping of Ti:sapphire and dye lasers and particle image velocimetry, among other applications.

To meet growing demand for its products and to provide better local support, the company recently expanded its international presence with subsidiaries in Japan and China: Photonics Industries China (PIC) in Suzhou, and Photonics Industries Japan (PIKK) in Tokyo. Globally, its customers include many Fortune 500 companies for industrial applications, and most major universities and national laboratories for research applications.

For more information, visit: www.photonix.com; e-mail: info@photonix.com

Photonics Industries International Inc.
390 Central Avenue
Bohemia, NY 11716
Phone: (631) 218-2240
Fax: (631) 218 2275



GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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