Optical pulses with pulse durations in the nanosecond regime are required for many applications, including laser material processing, distance measurements, and remote sensing. In most cases, they are generated with lasers, either by Q switching or by gain switching.
Q-switched lasers can deliver high pulse energies – for example, several millijoules from solid-state lasers with moderate sizes, and multiple joules from somewhat larger devices. Depending on design details, the emission may occur in a single longitudinal mode of the laser resonator, in this case leading to a very narrow linewidth.
Gain-switched lasers can also generate nanosecond pulses, but with much lower pulse energies. In the case of semiconductor lasers, the peak power is often limited to the order of 1 W. Gain-switched fiber-coupled semiconductor lasers are interesting seed sources for fiber amplifiers, and such MOPA devices are increasingly seen as a possible substitute for Q-switched lasers in many cases, at least for pulse energies not exceeding a few millijoules. One of the main advantages is the great flexibility of modifying both pulse repetition rate and pulse duration electronically, and keeping the pulse duration constant when the repetition rate is varied in large ranges. Also, such devices can be fabricated at lower cost.
Thorlabs manufactures nanosecond pulsed laser diode systems that are designed to provide a convenient, turnkey source of nanosecond pulse trains at repetition frequencies up to 10 MHz. These compact instruments are available with center wavelengths from 405 nm to 980 nm with maximum peak pulse optical output powers ranging from 13 mW to 1600 mW.
Lumibird manufactures a wide range of nanosecond pulsed lasers thanks to its expertise in three key technologies: solid-state lasers, fiber lasers and fiber amplifiers, and laser diodes. Various application areas are addressed in industry (manufacturing, lidar sensors), science (laboratories and universities), medical (ophthalmology) and defense.
The EVERESTnano 1 µm pulsed fiber laser is suitable for laser marking, cutting and ablation. It generates 5-ns pulses with up to 100 W average power and up to 500 kHz repetition rate. The free-space output beam at 1030 nm exhibits a beam quality factor below 1.3.
CNI offer nanosecond Q-switched lasers with wavelength coverage from 223 nm to 4800 nm. We have versions with pulse energies from 1 μJ to 10 J, repetition rates from 1 Hz to 200 kHz and pulse width from 0.8 ns to 200 ns. The lasers can be actively or passively cooled with air or water, or with conduction cooling, and there are various controls and outputs.
HÜBNER Photonics offer pulsed nanosecond lasers in the Cobolt Tor Series: up to 0.5 mJ/pulse, <5 ns pulse width, 7 kHz pulse repetition rate with single pulse triggerable and free running models.
MPBC’s line of nanosecond pulsed fiber lasers have been designed to give users flexibility in their application refinement. With user-selectable pulse widths and repetition rates, these lasers put more options into the hands of the users than traditional lasers with fixed parameters. In addition, the ability to externally trigger pulses on some of the models make these lasers an extremely flexible tool. Based on an all-fiber laser cavity design and offering excellent beam quality and wall plug efficiency, these compact air-cooled lasers are an ideal choice for your application.
MegaWatt Lasers's ER902 is a passively Q-switched erbium glass laser that operates at 1.54 μmm. This eye-safe wavelength is ideal for defense, LIBS, and LIDAR applications. The design allows for 10 Hz repetition rates with a 4 ns pulse width and a 200 μJ pulse energy. All in a 9 mm diameter by 20 mm length package.
GWU-Lasertechnik has more than 30 years of experience in lasers and nonlinear optics. We are the pioneer of commercial BBO OPO technology. Our widely tunable laser sources cover the spectral range from the deep-UV at <190 nm to the IR at >2700 nm. The scanSeries nanosecond product line offers scalable pulse energy at various repetition rates. As a unique feature, GWU can provide high-speed wavelength scanning across the complete wavelength range with shot-to-shot dynamic. Our all-solid-state laser design ensures maximum reliability for diode-pumped and flash-lamp pumped lasers.
Short pulse durations, a wide range of customization options and high stability are distinctive feature of EKSPLA nanosecond Q-switched lasers. Employing latest achievements in laser technologies, our team of dedicated engineers has designed a wide range of products tailored for specific applications: from compact, simple and robust EKSPLA nanosecond Q-switched DPSS NL230 series lasers for OEM manufacturers to high energy customized flash-lamp multijoule systems for research laboratories.
Second (532 nm), third (355 nm), fourth (266 nm) and fifth (213 nm) (where available) harmonic options combined with various accessories and customization possibilities make these lasers well suited for many OEM and laboratory applications like OPO, OPCPA, Ti:sapphire and dye laser pumping, spectroscopy, remote sensing and plasma research.
ALPHALAS offers actively and passively Q-switched DPSS lasers (IR, VIS & UV) with pulse widths < 1 ns, which are suitable for applications requiring high peak power and precise synchronization. Both types of lasers feature TEM00 beam profile and compact design.
Microchip passively Q-switched lasers are mechanically extremely stable with very high pulse-to-pulse stability, pulse energies up to 1.5 mJ and > 2 MW peak power with pulse duration down to 500 ps.
The actively Q-switched lasers feature a timing jitter < 500 ps, optionally down to 300 ps. Repetition rates from single shot up to 100 kHz and average power up to 5 W are available.
Higher energy and power is possible using MOPA arrangement.
Applications: micromachining, marking & cutting (e.g. diamonds), nonlinear optics, supercontinuum generation, time-resolved fluorescence measurements, pollution monitoring, LIBS, ignition of explosives & combustion engines.
Focuslight Technologies has the AL01, a Q-switched nanosecond laser with megawatt peak power and >1.5 mJ pulse energy. It is suitable for applications like flash LIDAR and 3D sensing.
Teem Photonics offers air-cooled diode-pumped passively Q-switched lasers, for nanosecond pulse emission. Available emission wavelengths is at 1064 nm and 1535 nm; other wavelengths can be considered upon request.
Integrated Optics offers the most compact housing (30 × 50 × 18 mm) for a self-contained nanosecond lasers at 1029 nm, featuring high pulse energy and single-frequency operation. These nanosecond lasers are based on the famous MatchBox platform and compatible with all accessories. Some of the cool features include USB power and USB control, intelligent monitoring and protection, all-in-one design.
These miniature nanosecond lasers are used in LIDAR, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), pump–probe spectroscopy, flow cytometry, sorting and Raman spectroscopy. MatchBox nanosecond pulse modules deliver high-end performance in a miniature package. Smart power electronics is installed in the same enclosure.
Also, an ultra-compact 1029 nm nanosecond laser with a high peak power passively Q-switched transmitter for OEM LIDAR and range finding applications is offered in even more compact µFlash platform.
Bright Solutions offers various Q-switched lasers with nanosecond pulse durations:
- Wedge: 266, 355, 532, 1064, 1570, 3100 nm (also multi-wavelength configurations), used e.g. for atmospheric LIDAR, monitoring, glass machining or lithography
- Onda: compact monolithic nanosecond Q-switched lasers for 266, 355, 532 or 1064 nm, used e.g. for lens marking, plastic marking or intravolume glass marking
- Sol: compact Q-switched lasers for 355, 532 or 1064 nm, up to 200 kHz, used e.g. for automotive fabrication, electronic machining, ID card writing and other industrial applications
- Aero: high energy lasers with up to 200 mJ at 1064 nm, 100 mJ at 532 nm, multi-wavelength configurations, custom beam shaping, application e.g. in atmospheric LIDAR, LIBS or nonlinear spectroscopy
- ONE DPSS – miniaturized Q-switched lasers with up to 200 μJ and down to 3 ns, e.g. for atmospheric LIDAR and laser marking on plastics
Serving North America, RPMC Lasers offers one of the widest wavelength selections of nanosecond lasers available ranging from the UV through the MWIR regimes, including wavelength tunable OPO/DPSS lasers. Our offerings include DPSS lasers, fiber lasers, microchip lasers, and ultra-compact & rugged MIL-spec DPSS lasers, with pulse energies as high as 700 mJ and a huge range of pulse repetition rates up to several MHz. Standard and custom options available. Let RPMC help you find the right laser today!
Questions and Comments from Users
Here you can submit questions and comments. As far as they get accepted by the author, they will appear above this paragraph together with the author’s answer. The author will decide on acceptance based on certain criteria. Essentially, the issue must be of sufficiently broad interest.
Please do not enter personal data here; we would otherwise delete it soon. (See also our privacy declaration.) If you wish to receive personal feedback or consultancy from the author, please contact him, e.g. via e-mail.
By submitting the information, you give your consent to the potential publication of your inputs on our website according to our rules. (If you later retract your consent, we will delete those inputs.) As your inputs are first reviewed by the author, they may be published with some delay.