ams OSRAM laser bars and diodes are the centerpiece of most of today’s industrial laser systems. Whether direct material processing or optical pumping of fiber lasers, disc lasers or classical solid-state lasers, the laser bar or diode is the key component for the initial conversion of electrical energy into high optical power laser light. These laser components are used in material processing for cutting, drilling, marking or engraving, welding and surface treatment. Of highest importance in any laser-based material processing setup is the amount of laser power absorption by the processed material. This depends on the spectral range of the laser, beam reflection and transmission. The higher the absorption of the processed material, the less optical power has to be provided by the laser itself to perform the desired task. Our laser bars offered in broad range of precise wavelengths enable the maximization of absorption efficiency.
The absorption of the material also changes during the processing as material melts or starts developing plasma. For example, for metal, an increase in absorption occurs when the material starts to melt, followed by a steep rise in absorption when transitioning into vapor. Besides the energy saving benefit of lowering the laser power by matching the laser wavelength to the processed material’s absorption-maximum, another aspect might also become important. Lower the power needed for operating the laser, easier and faster the power control regulation becomes for adaptive control algorithms which compensate for phase-related changes of the processed material’s absorption coefficient. Hence as a consequence of the matching laser spectrum, power consumption is lower and processing results are better.
They play a critical role in terms of performance, reliability, and the total system costs of modern laser systems. Our laser components are key – whether for long lifetime or low divergence, the conversion efficiency of electrical energy into photons is a precondition for the extraordinary performance of a solid-state laser. Whatever the chosen path, ams OSRAM supports its customers with a wide portfolio of near-infrared (NIR) laser bars and single emitters that allow wall-plug efficiencies of 65% and above. Dedicated designs of infrared laser bars are available for high power continuous wave (CW) operation of up to 250 W and quasi CW operation of up to 500W. The optical power a single emitter depends on the emitter width and can be up to 30W-(CW). Important infrared wavelength are 808 nm, 915 nm, 940-nm, 976-nm and 1020-nm.
For fiber laser pumping especially, integrators require laser suppliers to deliver the highest batch-to-batch wavelength homogeneity in volume production to achieve best possible performance for the overall system. ams OSRAM has a proven track record in volume production in regard to wafer homogeneity and tightest possible wavelength tolerances. Our new blue laser bars and diodes enable further applications and can significantly improve process efficiency and stability. Materials like copper or gold are highly reflective when treated with infrared light. Therefore, the absorption of infrared light is low, and for applications like welding, a high amount of optical power is needed. Blue lasers (450 nm) can offer a huge advantage in this situation as the absorption of blue spectrum light is much higher. Our blue lasers provide more than 1.2x better absorption for copper compared to green spectrum and more than 12x compared to infrared. For gold, our blue laser is 2.2x better in absorption compared to green and more than 50x higher compared to infrared. Blue spectrum material processing lasers open new opportunities in areas such as copper welding for high-performance battery stacks and new applications in cladding or surface treatment.
Last but but not least, ams OSRAM enables integrators of laser material processing systems to further enhance their solutions for condition monitoring, adaptive control algorithms or on-the-fly quality inspection measures. We offer, for example, sensors for spectral sensing or machine vision.