About fiber lasers

In the laser system world, few devices seem to have gained popularity among users as quickly as early fiber laser systems. It is not surprising. Fiber lasers are considered to be a significant breakthrough compared to opportunities provided by earlier laser technologies, such as the first pumped diode systems, or established methodologies, for instance, the CO2 laser system.

For engineers and scientists, a fiber laser system is a device in which “an active amplification medium is an optical fiber doped with rare-earth elements such as erbium, ytterbium, neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium, thulium, and holmium”.

For example, a CO2 laser is a laser system that uses carbon dioxide, a colorless gas with a density of about 60 percent higher than that of dry air. It allows the use of an infrared laser beam with wavelength bands centered at 9.4 and 10.6 micrometers. This laser beam level is suitable for cutting a wide variety of materials. CO2 laser systems are also useful in medical applications such as soft tissue surgery or dermatology.

In contrast, the fiber laser replaces the gas with a conventional optical fiber made of quartz glass. This fiber is then “doped” when a little bit of one of the rare earth elements is added to it. The atoms that make up the laser beam medium are then placed in this rare-earth-doped fiber. When photons are emitted, they are enclosed within this doped optical fiber core.

The idea of limiting photons in a rare-earth-doped fiber gives fiber laser systems a major advantage over its competitors: the stability. Since the fiber laser generates its beam inside the core, it does not require sophisticated or sensitive optical equipment to deliver the laser beam.

On the other hand, a conventional laser system uses an optical fiber to move the laser beam or mirror to reflect it. Either approach works, but both require extremely precise alignment. This makes standard laser systems sensitive to movement and shock. And as soon as everything fails, the specialist must fix everything. The fiber laser does not have this sensitivity. It is stable. The fiber laser systems can handle bumps, vibrations, and general dissonance on an assembly line.

There is another advantage, which is that the laser beam is limited by a core of doped optical fiber: it keeps the beam straight and small. This, in turn, allows reducing the need for focusing. As a rule, in laser systems, the smaller the point created by the laser beam, the more efficient the cutting is.

Another advantage is that fiber lasers are energy efficient. The fiber laser systems can convert almost 100 % of the input signal it receives into the laser beam, thereby limiting the amount of energy converted to thermal energy. This means that the optical fiber tends to remain protected from heat damage or destruction. All this creates a reliable laser system that requires almost no maintenance.

Optromix is a fast-growing fiber laser manufacturer and a vendor of optical fiber sensors and optical monitoring systems. The company offers fast turnkey solutions and creates sophisticated fiber laser systems for special purposes. Optromix uses only its technologies and develops a broad variety of fiber lasers. If you have any questions or would like to buy a laser system, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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