Konoshima, Chemical/Baikowski Group Wins Circle of Excellence Award
Polycrystalline Ceramic YAG
The polycrystalline ceramic YAG was designed as an inexpensive high-power replacement YAG, according to its developer, Konoshima Chemical Co. Ltd. of Kagawa, Japan. It offers five times the fracture toughness and can absorb more thermal and physical shock, thereby enabling higher pumping and output power.
Ceramic YAG also has larger design capabilities because it uses a co-sintering process for growing the ceramics together. This allows a strong bond that will not peel or increase the scattering effect.
Another advantage is doping versatility and quality. Its dopant uniformity can be controlled to 0.02 percent homogeneity along the length of the rod, and it can be doped at higher levels, such as up to 4 percent neodymium.
Size is another benefit. Ceramic YAG eliminates the undesirable doping gradient inherent in the Czochralski Pull method. It can produce 400-mm crystals; larger crystals allow for equivalent output power with lower dopant levels, creating a lower TEM mode and higher focusing ability.
The transparent ceramic crystal can be used for such high-power laser applications as welding, marking, cutting and drilling in the industrial, military and medical fields. Finally, the material can be used to create unique composites using doped and undoped YAG.
The device was made commercially available through Baikowski Group, which perfected a polishing technique for the harder polycrystalline YAG material.