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Applications of high-power 2 m thulium fiber lasers in materials processing

Applications of high-power 2 m thulium fiber lasers in materials processing

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Recent advances in the development of high-power laser sources emitting at the wavelength around 2 mm have enabled a novel material processing regime that is currently finding many new industrial and scientific applications, from automotive manufacturing and biomedical engineering to microelectronics and infrared photonics. High output powers and system reliability enabled by a robust fiber laser architecture bring many new opportunities to laser materials processing community, but also many scientific and technical challenges. On the one hand, a large number of new and unique processes have been introduced, from absorber-free welding of transparent polymers and volume-selective micro-processing of semiconductors to local refractive index modifications in infrared optical materials. On the other hand, with a steadily growing selection of commercially available continuous-wave (CW) and pulsed thulium-doped fiber lasers, processing limits for many conventional laser processing techniques such as cutting, drilling, and welding, will need to be reassessed. In addition, the knowledge of materials' response to irradiation at 2 mm is still incomplete for many important classes of materials, and a limited availability of beam delivery equipment optimized for this wavelength makes industrial implementation of thulium fiber lasers challenging. This chapter is aiming at improved understanding of fundamental principles of light-matter interaction at 2 mm, discusses various new applications, and contributes to implementation of thulium fibers lasers as a promising tool for many industrial areas.

Chapter Contents:

  • 10.1 Introduction
  • 10.2 Interaction of 2-m laser light with materials
  • 10.2.1 Polymers
  • 10.2.2 Semiconductors
  • 10.2.2.1 Absorption in semiconductors in the infrared
  • 10.2.2.2 Nonlinear material response in semiconductors
  • 10.2.2.3 Alternative material modification mechanisms
  • 10.2.2.4 Temperature dependence of absorption processes
  • 10.2.3 Infrared optical materials
  • 10.3 Joining of polymers
  • 10.3.1 Experimental details
  • 10.3.2 Butt-welding experiments
  • 10.3.3 Transmission welding experiments
  • 10.4 Processing of semiconductors
  • 10.4.1 Experimental details
  • 10.4.2 Processing of uncoated semiconductor surfaces
  • 10.4.3 Processing of coated semiconductor surfaces
  • 10.5 Processing of chalcogenide glasses
  • 10.5.1 Experimental conditions
  • 10.5.2 Characterization of the film composition and morphology
  • 10.5.3 Refractive index changes
  • References

Inspec keywords: refractive index; laser beam welding; laser beam machining; fibre lasers; optical materials; laser materials processing; thulium

Other keywords: conventional laser processing techniques; laser material processing regime; technical challenges; steadily growing selection; absorber-free welding; volume-selective microprocessing; robust fiber laser architecture; continuous-wave thulium-doped fiber lasers; output powers; transparent polymers; wavelength 2.0 mm; high-power 2 mm thulium fiber lasers; scientific challenges; infrared optical materials; light-matter interaction; beam delivery equipment; system reliability; semiconductors; laser materials; local refractive index modifications; infrared photonics; pulsed thulium-doped fiber lasers; high-power laser sources; industrial applications; scientific applications

Subjects: Laser materials processing; Design of specific laser systems; Fibre lasers and amplifiers; Machining; Optical materials; Joining processes and welding; Laser materials processing; Fibre lasers and amplifiers

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