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What Is Photonics?What Is Photonics?
Photonics Media Editors
Photonics is the study of light and other types of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The impact of photonics on research, technology, navigation, culture, astronomy, forensics, and...
Fiber Lasers: Continuing to Power GrowthFiber Lasers: Continuing to Power Growth
Bryce Samson, IPG Photonics Corporation
Early fiber lasers were inefficient and limited to low powers, until more effective methods emerged to deliver the pump light into the cladding. Valentin Gapontsev, founder and CEO of IPG Photonics,...
Silicon Photonics: Light Is the Ultimate Medium for High-Speed CommunicationsSilicon Photonics: Light Is the Ultimate Medium for High-Speed Communications
Christophe Kopp, Ségolène Olivier, and Stéphane Bernabé, CEA-LETI
Silicon photonics is widely considered a key enabling technology for further development of optical interconnect solutions needed to address growing traffic on the internet. From the first submarine...
Industrial Lasers: An Introduction to Process QualificationIndustrial Lasers: An Introduction to Process Qualification
Materials processing with lasers is actually a broad term for a diverse range of applications. The major categories of these uses, and the lasers that service them, are summarized Table 1. At one...
QCL Primer: History, Characteristics, ApplicationsQCL Primer: History, Characteristics, Applications
Hamamatsu Corporation
Since its first successful operation in 1960 at Hughes Research Labs, the laser technology has been at the center of innovation and research. Semiconductor lasers first made their appearance in 1962...
Laser Measurement Systems: Best PracticesLaser Measurement Systems: Best Practices
Given the pace at which technology advances, there always seems to be a learning curve. With the abundance of consumer electronics available, there typically is no right or wrong way to use these...
Laser Safety: Important ConsiderationsLaser Safety: Important Considerations
Ken Barat, Laser Safety Solutions
When purchasing an industrial laser system, the astute buyer will look for a Class 1 laser product — a system where the laser beam hazard is completely enclosed and there is no potential laser...
Powering Lasers: Evaluating Bench Power SuppliesPowering Lasers: Evaluating Bench Power Supplies
Paul Corr and Patrick Klima, Arroyo Instruments LLC
A bench power supply should be thoroughly tested and characterized before it is used to power a laser. The quality of the controls and safety measures incorporated into a bench supply will need to be...
Laser Operation: Temperature Control and Mount SelectionLaser Operation: Temperature Control and Mount Selection
Paul Corr and Patrick Klima, Arroyo Instruments LLC
As you operate your laser, only a portion of the electrical power sourced from your laser driver converts to light energy. The remainder turns to heat, and the buildup of that thermal energy presents...
Lasers: Understanding the BasicsLasers: Understanding the Basics
Coherent Inc.
Over 60 years have passed since the first demonstration of a laser in 1960. After the initial spark of interest, lasers were for a while categorized as “a solution waiting for a problem,”...
Diode-Pumped Lasers: Performance, Reliability Enhance ApplicationsDiode-Pumped Lasers: Performance, Reliability Enhance Applications
Arnd Krueger and Scott White, MKS/Spectra-Physics
Neodymium-doped crystals and glasses such as Nd:YAG (neodymium:yttrium aluminum garnet) have long been used as laser gain materials. Optically pumped, they produce an output wavelength close to 1...
The Photonics Spectrum Reference ChartThe Photonics Spectrum Reference Chart
To order a copy of the latest printed version of the Photonics Spectrum Reference Chart, visit our bookstore at
Laser Diodes: Specification GuidelinesLaser Diodes: Specification Guidelines
Intense Ltd.
While some design engineers know exactly what they need from their laser diode, others may choose a partner to navigate what can be a complex development process. Laser diode manufacturers know which...
Tunable Lasers: Generating Wavelengths from the UV Through the IRTunable Lasers: Generating Wavelengths from the UV Through the IR
Ian Read, MKS/Spectra-Physics
Applications facilitated by tunable lasers fall into two categories: situations in which one or more discrete wavelengths are not available from any single- or multiline fixed-wavelength laser, or...
Laser Perforation: The Diffractive Beamsplitter AdvantageLaser Perforation: The Diffractive Beamsplitter Advantage
Moshe Bril, Holo/Or Ltd.
The basic setup in laser perforation includes a pulsed laser, a lens and either a moving mirror, a rotating web or both. Each laser pulse creates a hole in the material. During the blank time in...
Excimer Lasers: Photonic Stamps with Micron ResolutionExcimer Lasers: Photonic Stamps with Micron Resolution
Coherent, Inc.
Excimers are pulsed gas lasers that deliver high output power and pulse energies in the ultraviolet and deep-ultraviolet wavelengths. This enables them to power applications that cannot be supported...
Laser Beam Measurement: Slit-Based Profilers for Pulsed BeamsLaser Beam Measurement: Slit-Based Profilers for Pulsed Beams
Allen M. Cary, Photon Inc.
Measuring pulsed-beam lasers has generally required the use of a CCD array profiler. This is a reasonable solution for low-power lasers in the UV and visible wavelength range, but these require...
Nd:YAG Lasers: Standing the Test of TimeNd:YAG Lasers: Standing the Test of Time
Quantel USA
The ubiquitous Nd:YAG laser has played many roles over the years. For the military, it has provided rangefinding and target designation capabilities. When used with nonlinear optics or as a pump...
Driving Diode Lasers: A Straightforward ProcedureDriving Diode Lasers: A Straightforward Procedure
Uwe Malzahn, iC-Haus GmbH
By observing a few simple rules that govern diode lasers’ properties, driving them loses much of its mystery. Below its threshold current, a diode laser emits LED light with spontaneous...
CO<SUB>2</SUB> Lasers: The Industrial WorkhorseCO2 Lasers: The Industrial Workhorse
Thorsten Frauenpreiss, Rofin-Sinar Laser GmbH
In the three decades since its introduction, the CO2 laser has become the workhorse of industrial lasers. Today it is available in a range of designs and sizes with output powers of 20 kW and more....
Laser Applications TablesLaser Applications Tables
Solid-State Lasers: Lower Noise Means Higher PerformanceSolid-State Lasers: Lower Noise Means Higher Performance
Kenneth Ibbs and Alex Laymon, DPSS Lasers, Inc.
Many linear materials proceseqsing applications call for lasers with continuous-wave (CW) output. For example, early stereolithography systems were based on CW lasers such as argon-ion or HeCd. To...
Laser Scanning Systems: Optimizing PerformanceLaser Scanning Systems: Optimizing Performance
Yuhong Huang and Eric Ulmer, General Scanning
To obtain optimal performance from a laser scanning system, the system integrator must carefully weigh the effects of each component and consider how best to implement hardware and software to...
Beam Diagnostics: Meeting the Need for High QualityBeam Diagnostics: Meeting the Need for High Quality
Coherent, Inc.
For any discussion of laser beam diagnostics, it is first necessary to define some terms that characterize beam properties. Broad definitions can include measurements of laser energy or power,...
The VCSEL Advantage: Increased Power, Efficiency Bring New ApplicationsThe VCSEL Advantage: Increased Power, Efficiency Bring New Applications
L. Arthur D’Asaro, Jean-Francois Seurin and James D. Wynn, Princeton Optronics, Inc.
Unlike an edge emitter, a VCSEL has a maximum operating power that is not limited by catastrophic optical damage of the exit aperture because its aperture is larger and its PN junction does not...
Semiconductor Lasers: An Overview of Commercial DevicesSemiconductor Lasers: An Overview of Commercial Devices
Laser diodes vary widely in their wavelengths, powers, spectra and beam quality. Yet they share two fundamental components with all other lasers: an optical amplifier and a resonator that confines...
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