PowerPhotonic launches new beam shaper for high power laser cutting & welding at Photonics West

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The Light Tunnel Generator improves cutting efficiency and effectiveness

At Photonics West, PowerPhotonic (booth 5123), an innovator in using freeform optics in the design & manufacture of wafer scale micro-optics, has launched a new class of optical beam shaper that improves high power laser cutting & welding. 

The 'Light Tunnel Generator' saves costs by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of high power laser cutting.

It is designed to create a ring-shaped spot that is maintained over such a long distance that it creates a light tunnel (it has a much slower caustic in comparison to an axicon or similar solution). 

Light Tunnel Generators from PowerPhotonic are thin glass windows with unique (patent applied for) precision freeform surfaces that are designed to be mounted inside a cutting or welding head. They are a perfect solution to the problem of creating a ring-shaped intensity profile that persists over > 10mm, far into metal that is being laser cut (or welded).

The input beam is assumed to be super Gaussian in profile and to be matched to the design input diameter. The Beam Shaper then redistributes energy within the beam, such that when the beam is focussed with a lens, it creates a ring. This ring extends many times longer than other ring generators.

Key Advantages

  • Easy to use
  • 3 times the depth of focus compared to the Rayleigh Range of axicon
  • 95% shaping efficiency
  • More than 20kW CW high power handling

The Central Laser Facility’s Vulcan laser amplifier and mirror bench, R1, at STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, 26 January 2015. Credit: Science and Technology Facilities Council

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Microscope image of a 3D-printed lensed fibre array. Here, green light is collimated into parallel light beams. (Image: Nanoscribe)

27 January 2022

Jonas Zeuner of VitreaLab, centre, is joined onstage by Jenoptik's Song Yop Chung, left, and Ralf Kuschnereit, right. Credit: SPIE

26 January 2022