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Homogenization of high power diode laser beams for pumping and direct applications

: Traub, M.; Hoffmann, H.-D.; Plum, H.-D.; Wieching, K.; Loosen, P.; Poprawe, R.


Zediker, M.S. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
High-power diode laser technology and applications IV : 23-25 January 2006, San Jose, California
Bellingham/Wash.: SPIE, 2006 (SPIE Proceedings Series 6104)
ISBN: 0-8194-6146-6
ISBN: 978-0-8194-6146-9
Paper 61040Q
Conference "High-Power Diode Laser Technology and Applications" <2006, San Jose/Calif.>
Fraunhofer ILT ()

High power diode lasers have become an established source for numerous direct applications like metal hardening and polymer welding due to their high efficiency, small size, low cost and high reliability. These laser sources are also used for efficient pumping of solid state lasers as Nd:YAG lasers. To increase the output power of diode lasers up to several kilowatts, the emitters are scaled laterally by forming a diode laser bar and vertically by forming a diode laser stack. For most applications like hardening and illumination, though, the undefined far field distribution of most commercially available high power diode laser stacks states a major drawback of these devices. As single emitters and bars can fail during their lifetime, the near field distribution does not remain constant. To overcome these problems, the intensity distribution can be homogenized by a waveguide or by microoptic devices. The waveguide segments the far field distribution by several total internal reflections, and these segments are overlaid at the waveguide's exit surface. By the microoptic device, the near field is divided into beamlets which are overlaid by a field lens. Both approaches are presented, and realized systems are described.