High-brilliance diode lasers for industrial applications: BRIDLE

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A consortium from five European countries has joined forces in a research project to achieve improvements in high-power direct diode laser systems.

BRIDLE makes use of a modular, scalable and compatible approach, employing advanced technologies and beam combination architectures, leading to a diode laser source that delivers more than 2kW output power from a Ø100µm, NA<0.15 optical fibre with a power conversion efficiency of more than 40 per cent.

Novel diode-laser mini-bars will be developed by the consortium, targeting a  brilliance three times higher than commercially available broad area emitters. Dense and coarse spectral multiplexing schemes will be investigated for power scaling. In addition, coherent beam combining techniques that phase-couple bars to produce nearly diffraction limited output will also be investigated.

During the project, a sequence of demonstrators will be developed, each targeting a specific industrial application. Manufacturability and cost down-scaling issues are also addressed by integrating micro-optical beam shaping and beam combination into the production process.

The project, which started in September and runs for three years, will get €3 million from the European Commission’s information and communication technologies programme.

Coordinated by Dilas in Germany, the consortium includes researchers from, the University of Nottingham; the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and the Ferdinand Braun Institute FBH in Germany; the Laboratoire Charles Fabry of the Institut d’Optique at CNRS, France; and the industrial partners Modulight, of Finland, and Bystronic, Switzerland.

Interested parties may ask to be put on a mailing list to receive the project e-Newsletter every nine months.