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Brightness Converters

Author: the photonics expert

Definition: optically pumped devices where the generated optical output has a higher brightness than the optical pump source

Categories: article belongs to category photonic devices photonic devices, article belongs to category laser devices and laser physics laser devices and laser physics

DOI: 10.61835/rka   Cite the article: BibTex plain textHTML

The output power of a laser device is always lower than the pump power, since some energy losses are always occurring in laser operation. Nevertheless, the brightness (more precisely: the radiance) of an optically pumped laser can be far higher than the brightness of its pump source, if the pump source has a poor beam quality (thus a low brightness) while the beam quality of the output beam is much better. In such cases, a laser can be said to have the function of a brightness converter.

Some examples of lasers serving as brightness converters are:

In many cases, the function as a brightness converter is essential for laser applications. For example, many solid-state lasers are used in laser material processing because their pump light, having too low brightness, could not be used directly (although direct diode lasers are gaining traction).

Another frequently required function of a solid-state laser is pulse generation e.g. via Q switching. This might also be considered as a kind of brightness converter function since relatively long pump pulses can be converted into far shorter laser pulses, effectively concentrating energy in time.

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