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Nonhermetic Fiber Q-Switch

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ILMINSTER, England, Feb. 9, 2011 — Gooch & Housego UK Ltd. has announced the release of a new addition to its fiber-coupled acousto-optic modulator product line.

The company has developed a nonhermetic version of its fully hermetic Fiber-Q switch that was launched in 2009 and designed for use inside laser cavities and to perform in demanding environmental conditions.

The nonhermetic Fiber-Q uses the same reliable core building process and retains the same optical performance while offering reduced size, weight, and cost. It is designed for use in high-volume OEM industrial applications in which environmental conditions are more likely to be controlled. Applications include materials processing (marking, engraving, cutting, drilling), surgery, lithography and rapid prototyping.

It can be used also in the industrial pulsed fiber laser market. The increasing demand for laser sources for materials processing applications has led to higher demand for fiber laser sources, which in turn has led to a need for specialist fiber-coupled components such as acousto-optic modulators.

The Q-switch exhibits low insertion loss and can withstand very high laser powers. A radio-frequency signal is applied to the Q-switch, causing it to deflect a portion of the laser beam, increasing the cavity losses and preventing lasing. When the signal is switched off, the cavity losses decrease rapidly, and an intense laser pulse is produced.

In-house control of the crystal polishing and coating process has enabled production of high volumes of components in a reproducible manner with high quality and a high laser damage threshold.
Feb 2011

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