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November 19, 2020
Researchers have developed an ultrafast fiber laser with an average output power that is more than ten times the highest laser power available today. This technology will be applied to industrial-level laser processing and will pave the way for vision applications.
At the OSA Laser Conference on October 12-16th, PhD student Michael Müller, Professor Jens Limpert, and Frau Researchers from the Enhofe Institute of Applied Optics and Precision Engineering presented a new type of laser.
For lasers, wasteful thermal effects are generated when the laser is emitted. The shape of the laser is generally made into a larger surface-to-volume ratio, such as a fiber laser, so that the excess heat can be dissipated. Therefore, the relatively high average power currently obtained is 1 kW, which is the current highest level. Above this value, the thermal effect of the laser will reduce the quality of the laser beam, which constitutes a limit.
To overcome this limitation, the research team created a new laser device that can amplify the output power of the laser up to 12 times. The results of their experiment surface can produce an average power of 10.4KW without reducing the quality of the beam. The thermal image of the final beam shows that the thermal effect is almost insignificant. Therefore, the power of 100 KW can be easily achieved by adding more amplification channels.
In the near future, high-power lasers will not only accelerate the application of industrial laser processing, but also promote the development of earlier visionary applications, such as laser-driven particle acceleration and space debris removal.