Tech focus: Diode lasers

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Shining a light on the latest products and solutions in the diode laser space

Diode lasers are semiconductor laser devices based on laser diodes. They use semiconductor technology that produces a coherent projection of light in the visible to infrared range.  

Because diode lasers convert electrical energy directly into laser light, they have become an increasingly popular choice. They provide a lower cost of ownership combined with a wider choice of output wavelengths, ranging from 810 to 1064nm. 

Early documented uses go back to the early 1960s and ongoing developments in the technology have led to more widespread use today, with applications ranging from consumer electronics and retail to life sciences and automotive. They are also used in industrial applications and routinely in the aesthetic beauty industry for tasks such as laser hair removal and dermatology. 


ProPhotonix: featured product

New 375nm UV photon laser module

The new compact, configurable 375nm UV Photon laser offers output powers up to 70mW and a range of optical options. Adjustable optics, CW and modulation, and enhanced boresight options are available.

At 375nm, the new UV Photon laser module will offer distinct advantages in applications such as UV curing, 3D printing and particle analysis. For example, in 3D printing applications, the new wavelength will allow the use of resins that are less susceptible to partial curing by ambient light, allowing 3D printer manufacturers greater flexibility in the design of their printers. The laser also has the potential to take particle analysis applications to another level as the shorter wavelength allows even smaller particles to be detected and measured, such as the potentially harmful pollutants from vehicle exhaust emissions.

Built on the established Photon laser platform, the UV Photon laser offers a reliable laser module with the latest in laser diode technology. 

Laser Components: featured product

NIR Laser Diodes and Modules

Laser Components designs and manufactures many different types of optical emitters and detectors, including laser diodes. In addition to its own products, the company has established long-term supply partnerships with several of the world’s leading laser diode suppliers, which enables it to offer a comprehensive range of laser diodes to suit almost any application and budget.  

Laser Components can supply single-mode NIR laser diodes with output powers ranging from 5mW up to 250mW, or multimode NIR laser diodes with output power up to an incredible 20W! It is also able to supply NIR laser diodes pigtailed to any preferred fibre type. With dozens of wavelengths from 800nm to 3µm, the options are endless. Additionally, the company can supply laser drivers and modules with integrated features, such as cooling and power monitoring. The comprehensive portfolio is inclusive for all users, from academic research to large-volume production.


Commercial products

Vendors of diode lasers and related products include Akela Laser Corporation, a high-power laser diode manufacturer with a specialism in laser assemblies using any combination of light source, optics, cooling and drivers with wavelengths ranging from 375nm to 12 microns. The company can also provide custom laser drivers and systems, as well as standard laser diode packages in free-space and fibre-coupled configurations.

BWT has around 20 years of experience when it comes to the design, development and manufacture of fibre coupling diode lasers. The optical output diode laser is based on multi-coupling technical schemes and thermal control can satisfy any specialist requirements for power, brightness, wavelength control and power-to-weight ratio. The product covers a wavelength of 405-1,064nm, and is provided with a wide optional power range. The company can also offer customised solutions for laser systems, with a diode laser subsystem available within the wavelengths of 450-1550nm and customisation within the power range of 2mW-300W. A number of accessories are also available.

Coherent’s diode laser systems are available for many use cases. Its Compact Series of direct diode lasers is robust and modular, with compact sources that have enough output power for materials processing of plastics and metals. The HighLight DL Series of lasers includes fibre-coupled, multi-kW diode lasers for cladding, additive manufacturing, heat-treating and laser-assisted bonding. The HighLight DD direct diode lasers are mainly used in high-speed, large-area materials processing with up to 10kW output power and flexible beam shapes.

CSRayzer Optical Technology produces a wide range of photonic and optical devices. Products include acousto-optic modulators, optical faraday rotators and isolators, fibre optic components, MEMS VOA and optical switch, laser diodes and photodiodes, APD, SLD, fibre coils, ASE, EDFA and other optical amplifier and modules.

Based in Dublin, Ireland, Eblana Photonics’s range of single-frequency distributed feedback (DFB) laser diodes, Fabry–Pérot (FP) laser diodes, superluminescent diodes (SLDs) and other optical sources are specifically designed for optimum performance in optical sensing, lidar and telecoms applications.

Excelitas Technologies offers a variety of free-beam and fibre-coupled diode and solid-state iFlex-iRis laser modules and multi-line laser engines that deliver stability for demanding high-resolution biomedical imaging and metrology applications. The company also manufactures a variety of single-mode fibre-based kineFlex laser beam delivery systems for precision measurement and biomedical applications.

Focuslight Technologies is a fast-growing company that specialises in high-power diode lasers and micro optics. The firm can provide design, fabrication, integration and contract manufacturing services for applications in advanced manufacturing, health care, research, automotive and information technology.

Frankfurt Laser Company (FLC) is a supplier of FP, DFB and distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) laser diodes, SM individually addressable and broad area laser diode arrays, VCSELs and quantum cascade lasers. It also incorporates laser diode modules, free-space and fibre-coupled, diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers and OEM modules. Products cover 266nm to 14µm wavelength and a 5mW to 3,000W power range. The company also supplies super luminescent diodes in visible and IR from 650 to 6000nm and Mid-IR LEDs in 1.6- to 5.0-µm-range.

Laser Components has a broad laser diode portfolio, extending from CW laser diodes to pulsed laser diodes to high-power laser diodes. For special areas of application, VCSELs and quantum cascade lasers are also included in the product range. 

Laserline produces and sells high-power diode lasers, made from stacked diode bars, known as stacks. There are several of these stacks in a laser, depending on the target output power. With the help of the company’s simple, patented technology, the beams of the individual diodes are overlaid into one common laser beam and coupled into a fibre-optic cable. In most cases, the modular design of the laser head makes it possible to further equip the systems with more stacks to increase its power.

Lumentum provides high-performance, reliable diode lasers for next-generation 3D sensing applications and more. Its product range includes high-reliability, single-mode diode lasers that combine a quantum-well structure and a real-refractive, index-guided single-mode waveguide, as well as fibre-coupled diode lasers. The company is also well-known as a source for VCSELs.

Micro Laser Systems manufactures optical accessories and diode laser modules with an emphasis on optical packaging to provide diffraction-limited, circular beams with low wavefront error and low divergence. Lasers from 350 to 2000nm have accessories for expanding or focusing the beam, fibre collimators, fibre focusers, tiny collimators and splitters to integrate with the pigtailed lasers. 

Omicron-Laserage offers laser diode modules from 355 to 2500nm, with high-speed modulation capability up to 350MHz analog and 500 MHz digital, picosecond pulsed diode lasers, laser combiners, laser light engines, DFB laser diode modules and narrow bandwidth laser diode modules.

Oxxius is a laser design and manufacturing house developing monolithic design DPSS and laser diode modules for visible, UV and infrared. The company’s lasers are used in the life science markets and for academic or industrial research. It offers a field upgradable microprocessor that’s controlled and ultra-modular combiners up to six wavelengths with multiple options.

PhotonTec manufactures fibre-coupled laser diodes and DPSS lasers from 266 to 1550nm. Additionally, the company provides optical fibre cable for laser beam delivery, high power fibre combiner, UV-IR spectrometer and customised optical components.

Photodigm offers a range of monolithic DBR laser diodes for probing atomic and molecular spectroscopic transitions. The firm fabricates its own products to customer requirements at high-power levels. Available in multiple package options, Photodigm single-frequency, tunable DBRs are used in multiple applications.

PicoQuant’s compact and reliable turnkey diode laser solutions work in picosecond pulsed, modulated or fast-switched (nsec to µsec) operation mode. The laser systems typically consist of a common driver unit and exchangeable heads. Specialised lasers are also available as stand-alone units.

Power Technology has a selection of laser diode modules from entry-level to high-end applications. Features can include beam circularisation, temperature stabilisation, continuous wave, pulsed and modulated units. The company’s DPSS lasers are based on patented Intra-cavity impedance-matched amplification-tuned (iMAT) technology. A complex dual cavity design significantly increases second harmonic conversion efficiency, produces an inherently diffraction-limited output and provides natural frequency selective performance. In addition, its range of diode control units are turnkey power sources that contain US government-mandated safety features for lasers. 

ProPhotonix offers laser diodes for diode lasers with a wide range of wavelengths and power outputs with many laser diodes in stock. Laser diodes are available from a range of manufacturers, including Ushio, Osram, Panasonic, QSI and Ondax, in red, green, blue, violet and infrared. The company prides itself on its 25+ years of experience as a supplier and integrator of laser diodes to help select the right one for a given application. 

QPC Lasers provides high-performance diode lasers for medical, industrial and consumer applications. Its products are based on proprietary technologies, notably its BrightLase and BrightLock diode designs, which provide superior diode brightness and spectral control and offer significant size, weight and cost benefits.

RPMC Lasers has a large selection of standard and custom solid-state lasers, diodes and modules designed for a variety of markets and applications. The company boasts a broad wavelength selection of semiconductor laser diodes, while its diode laser products include single-mode and multimode laser diodes, single emitter and multi-emitter multimode laser diodes, laser diode bars and stacks, quantum cascade laser diodes, superluminescent laser diodes (SLEDs) and VCSELS. Also available are narrow linewidth laser diodes using DFB and volume Bragg grating (VBG) technology, and multi-wavelength laser diodes and tunable laser diodes. Free-space and fibre-coupled options are available on most devices.

SemiNex Corporation manufactures diode lasers that are created by introducing impurities to the surface of a crystal wafer and altering a semiconductor’s electrical properties. Where the layers on the wafer meet, charge carriers combine and the electrical current in the laser’s energy is released as light. Diode lasers are small and require little input power. The firm’s laser diodes span the 1,250- to 1,940nm range for automotive lidar, professional medical, military and industrial applications. High-power semiconductor lasers are also available as bare die and bar, as well as in a variety of packages including B and C mounts, TO-cans, laser engines and fibre-coupled devices up to 100W.

Wavelength Electronics teams with researchers and OEMs that use laser diodes in high-performance applications. The company supplies laser drivers that ensure high stability and offer as low as single-digit µA RMS noise. Products come in a range of sizes, from components used in aerospace and lidar, to touchscreen benchtop instruments for laboratory experiments.

This is not an exhaustive list. If you provide products in the diode laser space and would like your company to be included, please let us know at: