JDSU has introduced a laser architecture that offers high precision solutions for industrial and commercial applications. The Industrial Diode Laser System (IDL) incorporates multiple single-emitter diodes combined into a single output fibre, and provides up to 100W of power.
Single-emitter diodes offer the advantage of being pulsed on and off without affecting lifetime, unlike non-telecom grade bar diodes, which have been the industry norm until now. Telecom grade single-emitter diodes show lifetimes in excess of 400,000 hours. This compares with bar diodes, which typically demonstrates lifetimes of the order of 10,000 hours. While pulsing does not affect telecom-grade diode lifetime, it can dramatically reduce bar diode lifetimes. Using multiple devices allows for redundancy and improves thermal management.
Competing 100W systems rely on as many as output fibres, resulting in a lack of beam uniformity. The IDL’s single output fibre offers unprecedented beam quality. Superior lifetime and reliability, coupled with a uniform, ‘top hat’ beam profile, are advantages in applications, such as selective laser soldering and plastic welding. JDSU’s IDL products are used widely for plastic welding of exhaust manifolds, key bobs, CV joints, lightweight plastic gasoline tanks, and many other plastic parts needed in automobile production. The 100W version is expected to enable plastic welding of components with high glass content, parts with low absorption, and/or allow for greater production throughput.