New lasers for new applications mass customization
The continuous development in laser technology opens new fields of application in industrial production. Requirements of industrial processes determine the necessity for new laser concepts. Thus the key objective of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology can be summarized as ""tailored optical energy"", which connotes the development of lasers with respect to wavelength, output power, beam quality and pulse duration specifically for existing and future industrial applications. The state of the art in industrial laser application is represented by diffusion cooled CO2 laser systems with multi-kW output and lamp pumped Nd:YAG laser systems with kW output. Emerging and seriously competing concepts are diode pumped solid state lasers (Rod-, Disc-, Fiber- and Slablaser) and high power diode lasers, where especially the solid state lasers exhibit the potential to substitute the CO2 laser in the kW- power range. Succeeding the new concepts as well as applications will be presented.