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Point of interest

How the latest laser techniques can prove that three into one will go. By Mike Richardson.

Mention the word ‘laser’ and you could be forgiven for thinking of epic sci-fi space movies with the kind of handheld accessories that no self respecting Jedi should be without. Less destruction and fight, more construction of light, the advances in laser technology – through a burgeoning use of innovative electronics and minus the wobbly ‘zapping’ noises – have brought a host of industry applications under the steady beam of the laser’s focus.
Laser specialist Pacer sees an innovative use for fibre lasers and market growth stemming from their versatility and flexibility. Pulse on demand fibre lasers can replace a number of other lasers in a multi-station process. Users can vary the pulse width, peak energy, repetition rate and program complex pulse shapes. Frequency doubling and trebling enables a single laser to ablate at the fundamental, doubled and tripled frequencies.
“The demand for fibre lasers is driven by the customers’ requirements for increased speed and improved quality,” Pacer’s new business development director Stuart Sendall began. “Because fibre lasers have different optical beam characteristics – which are significantly better than traditional lasers – you can achieve brighter intensity all in one focal point. Even though older laser systems had the high power and could be focused, they didn’t have the beam quality or accuracy of focal point currently demonstrated by fibre lasers. As a result, the energy density wasn’t as high as hoped. Fibre lasers deliver a much higher brightness, which has set the benchmark in terms of W/cm² and in a more clearly defined area to because the beam quality is higher and therefore more precise and faster.”

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Mike Richardson

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