QPC Lasers shows new laser packing a lot of punch

Published 28 June 2007

Laser specialist introduces its new diode-based seed lasers, offering offers significant power and compact size relative to similar products on the market

Bill Clinton urged us “to focus like a laser beam,” and this is what Sylmar, California-based QPC Lasers (OTCBB: QPCI) is doing. The company said it would use the occasion of the Solid State and Diode Laser Technology Reviewthis week in Los Angeles to introduce its new BrightLase Seed Laser.

The BrightLase Seed Laser uses the company’s proprietary semiconductor laser technologies which, the company says, provide up to ten times more power than other available diode-based seed lasers. Also, the BrightLase comes in a package which is more compact and lightweight than traditional solid state or fiber based seed lasers.

In a recent demonstration, QPC showed its single-mode laser technology to achieve single-frequency powers exceeding 3 Watts at conversion efficiencies greater than 50 percent. The BrightLase is available in both C-mounted and single-mode-fiber coupled packages with power up to 1.5 Watts CW at the industrial standard wavelength of 1064 nm and up to 1 Watt CW at the eye-safe wavelength of 1550 nm.

Seed lasers serve as the engines for amplified laser systems used in many applications in defense (long range atmospheric sensing, missile defense, range finding), industrial drilling, and marking. Jeffrey Ungar, president and CEO of QPC Lasers, said that these power and brightness levels of BrightLase “have been previously available only from bulky and expensive solid state or fiber lasers. Our seed laser dramatically simplifies laser systems for high growth markets such as industrial, defense, and communication systems, both at traditional 1064 nm wavelengths as well as at eye-safe wavelengths.”

Michael: Text below in a blue box

A seed laser is a laser the output of which is injected into some amplifier or a another laser. Two examples:

* A seed laser combined with an amplifier forms a master oscillator power amplifier configuration which is used for generating an output with high power. Relative to an approach based on a single high power laser, it is easier to obtain certain features with a low power seed laser (for example, single frequency operation with narrow linewidth or generation of ultrashort pulses).

* It is also possible to send a single-frequency seed beam into another laser in order to achieve injection locking, in which the slave laser is forced to emit on a single longitudinal resonator mode. The laser noise is then also often close to that of the seed laser.

Typical types of seed lasers are small laser diodes (single-frequency or gain-switched), short-cavity fiber lasers, and miniature solid state lasers such as nonplanar ring oscillators (NPROs).