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High-Power Diode Lasers Earn a New Image

Photonics Spectra
Feb 1997
Tom Dearmin, Opto Power Corp.

The growth and development of continuous-wave high-power diode lasers in the last few years has been phenomenal, enabling many advances in a wide range of applications. Diodes’ efficiency, compactness and cost-effectiveness make them an excellent alternative to other light sources used in imaging and graphics applications. High-power output coupled with low costs have turned diode lasers into a safe, viable alternative to many harmful day-to-day activities, replacing environmentally harmful photographic films in printing applications with economy and flexibility, and potentially dangerous medical diagnostics with patient-friendly technology.
While working with customers on developing these products, diode laser manufacturers have added powerful new systems that help customers integrate diodes, drivers, coolers and optics into their products. This integration has helped to make the high-power diode laser into a powerful tool for imaging and other thermal and illumination applications.

Diode Lasers Help People Breathe Easier
..Conventional proton magnetic resonance imaging techniques have difficulty imaging lung tissue. While x-rays can show accumulation of fluid and scar tissue in the lungs, they cannot reveal the distribution of gas. Other lung imaging techniques expose the patient to significant levels of radiation. But, integrated laser diode-based technology could soon provide early warning and characterization of lung disease.

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