This section provides overview, applications, and principles of laser light sources. Also, please take a look at the list of 56 laser light source manufacturers and their company rankings.
A laser light source is a light source that emits laser light.
A laser is a highly directional light with a single wavelength and a high degree of photon wavelength identity. It has superior energy concentration compared to ordinary light. There are various laser light sources, ranging from semiconductor lasers suitable for projector light sources to YAG lasers, CO2 lasers, excimer lasers, and argon lasers suitable for cutting and processing objects. Lasers are classified into solid-state, semiconductor, and gas, based on the shape of the material they operate on.
Laser light sources are used for a wide variety of means. The applications vary depending on the type.
Due to its long life and easy handling characteristics, it can be used as a projection light source for projectors.
The YAG laser, a common solid-state laser, is used for laser processing, such as cutting and drilling of metals and various other materials; due to its optical characteristics, the YAG laser is not suitable for processing transparent materials.
In contrast to YAG lasers, CO2 lasers are suitable for processing transparent materials but are not suitable for processing metals.
Laser light sources use as its light source light that is excited by giving energy to the molecules of the laser medium. When a laser source is given intense energy, a certain number of atoms in the laser medium enter an excited state.
Laser light sources are constructed with a mirror on the side where the light source is installed to cause light amplification and a partially reflecting mirror on the side where the laser light is emitted. The light excited by optical amplification is reflected by the partial reflection mirror and continues to reflect through the laser light sources while repeating optical amplification many times, finally passing through the transmission part of the partial reflection mirror as a high-energy laser beam.
In addition to directionality, monochromaticity, and energy density, laser light sources have characteristic of being in phase (waveform of light), which causes interference when they hit an object. This characteristic is used in laser interferometers and other distance-measuring instruments. Ordinary light is a mixture of various types of light with different phases, which basically makes interference difficult to occur.
There are various laser light sources, each of which can be classified by wavelength. Excimer lasers have wavelengths ranging from 150 to 308 nm, argon lasers from 488 nm, ruby lasers from 694.3 nm, YAG lasers from 1,064 nm, and CO2 lasers from 10,600 nm. The difference in wavelength is the difference in absorption rate when irradiated onto an object. Different absorption rates result in different temperatures.
Wavelength conversion is possible by using nonlinear optical crystals for the fundamental waves of the above lasers. For example, the fundamental wavelength of a YAG laser is 1,064 nm, and when passed through a nonlinear optical crystal, light with wavelengths of 532 nm at the second harmonic, 355 nm at the third harmonic, and 266 nm at the fourth harmonic can be extracted. It is also possible to create parametric oscillators with tunable wavelengths.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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