Schott has developed a range of fused fibre bundles for forming 'square' laser diode light into a homogeneous beams of any shape required. The beam shaper is made of flexible glass fibres and can be coupled directly with the laser diodes, eliminating the need for collimating lenses.
Laser diodes are compact and efficient, but they emit light asymmetrically. In order to compensate for this, fast axis collimation (FAC) lenses are usually required, which can be difficult to adjust. Schott claims that its fibre-bundle beam shaper is much easier to use.
The device consists of multi-component glass fibres that have been fused into a rectangular shaped input profile. At present, sizes of up to 15.0 x 1.0mm are available. Coupling the laser diodes without FAC lenses improves the overall performance and flexibility of these devices.
The light emitted by the laser diodes can be converted into various shapes, for instance a circular shape with a small diameter, and thus exhibits high laser beam quality. The existing fibres cover a numerical aperture range from 0.4 to 0.8. Furthermore, transmission of 80 per cent is possible for common light guide lengths of up to 2,000mm. The beam shapers are capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 150°C.