Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Diamond Lenses Make Laser Optics Significantly Lighter

19.06.2017

Diamonds are not only a girl's best friend, but synthetic diamonds are also attractive as a material for laser optics: thanks to their extremely high refractive index and excellent heat conduction, laser optics made with them are ten times lighter than conventional laser optics. Fiber lasers in the kW range could, thus, operate with greater flexibility. Three Fraunhofer institutes have optimized the production and processing of diamonds in recent years, and the first cutting system with diamond lenses is being tested.

Diamonds have some striking properties: for example, their refractive index is 2.4, which is extremely high and allows much thinner optics to be made. Their thermal conductivity is 2000 W/m*K and is, therefore, more than 1400 times higher than that of optical glass. Along with their high damage threshold, these properties make diamonds highly interesting for high-power optics.


Cutting experiments: the diamond lenses make it possible to reduce weight of the cutting head by more than 90% in comparison to cutting heads with conventional optics.

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen.


Diamond optics are characterized by significantly greater heat conductivity and a higher refractive index while also having outstanding mechanical properties.

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen / Volker Lannert.

To date, polycrystalline diamond substrates have only been used as windows for CO2 lasers. Due to impurities and imperfections, they absorb and scatter laser radiation at emission wavelengths about 1 μm, making them unsuitable for fiber lasers. Although single crystal diamonds do not have this problem, they are more difficult to manufacture.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in Freiburg has been researching the production of monocrystalline diamonds for years. The CVD reactors developed at the IAF have stable plasma conditions and make substrates of up to several millimeters thick possible.

A maximum of 60 diamonds can be produced simultaneously. At build rates of up to 30 μm per hour, the reactors can produce optics with an aperture of approx. 10 mm.

90% Weight Reduction for Laser Heads with Diamond Optics

Lenses from the synthetic single crystal diamonds from Freiburg show low absorption and also low birefringence. Currently, a few specimens have been provided with antireflection coatings and incorporated into a fiber-laser cutting head.

Martin Traub from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen says, »We have optimized a complete laser optical system for the diamond lenses for the first time. Thanks to this, the cutting head is more than 90 percent lighter«.

The lenses with 7 mm diameter had previously passed tests with 2 kW laser power without problems. Now, the partners have built a system for cutting tests with a 1 kW fiber laser. Integrated in the cutting head are water cooling and the shielding gas supply. Process monitoring has not yet been planned. First tests are currently being carried out with the compact cutting head.

The new optical system should significantly increase the flexibility in laser cutting. The small size even enables the system to process areas difficult to access, and the low weight facilitates highly dynamic movements during 3D processing.

The development is a joint project of Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied Solid State Physics IAF (Freiburg), for Laser Technology ILT (Aachen) and for Production Technology IPT (Aachen). The optical system will also be presented at the LASER World of PHOTONICS 2017 in Munich. There, at the joint Fraunhofer stand A2.431, the experts will be available to answer all of your questions.

Contact Persons

Dipl.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.Ing Martin Traub
Group Manager of Optics Design and Diode Lasers
Telephone +49 241 8906-342
martin.traub@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Dipl.-Ing. Hans Dieter Hoffmann
Competence Area Manager of Lasers and Laser Optics
Telephone +49 241 8906-206
hansdieter.hoffmann@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.ilt.fraunhofer.de/en

Petra Nolis | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

Further reports about: Diamond IAF ILT Laser Lasertechnik fiber laser laser radiation lasers lenses optics single crystal

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht NUS engineers develop novel method for resolving spin texture of topological surface states using transport measurements
26.04.2018 | National University of Singapore

nachricht European particle-accelerator community publishes the first industry compendium
26.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World's smallest optical implantable biodevice

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space

26.04.2018 | Life Sciences

First Li-Fi-product with technology from Fraunhofer HHI launched in Japan

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>