SLD Laser’s LaserLight Blue: Materials Processing and Beyond

4 months ago by Tyler Charboneau

SLD Laser has recently unveiled the newest member of its laser module family: the LaserLight Blue. This module joins the LaserLight Fiber and LaserLight SMD, offering impressive versatility for wide-ranging applications.

In particular, SLD is targeting materials processing, where blue light is remarkably effective.

 

SLD Laser typography. Image courtesy of SLD Laser, via Business Wire.

 

The LaserLight Blue also shows immense promise in the sensory and AR/VR realms, among others. LaserLight Blue is in a league of its own in terms of power and luminance.

 

Specifications

SLD’s newest module features a luminance greater than 1,000Mcd/m2, which SLD claims is the world’s highest single-source luminance. This matches other products in SLD’s product lineup. That is a whole lot of power to harness, which lends itself to demanding use cases.

However, the advantages become clearer when comparing other metrics. While sister products like the LaserLight SMD have a lifespan topping 10,000 hours, the LaserLight Blue’s service life exceeds 15,000 hours. It achieves this while outputting significantly more energy. That longevity equates to fewer replacements, reducing costs.

The module primarily produces blue light at a wavelength of 450 nanometres, making it suitable for a plethora of applications. These blue wavelengths are especially advantageous during materials processing. Per SLD’s claims, this light is absorbed over 12 times more readily than other wavelengths, making it ideal for both inorganic and organic materials.

The LaserLight Blue is based on a proprietary, semipolar, gallium nitride (GaN) diode. Accordingly, it features 3 to 5 times more gain than other lasers. This effectiveness gives it a leg up against both competitors and counterparts in SLD’s lineup.

SLD achieves this via a specialised crystal plane. This gain unlocks more power transmission during use—a testament to the LaserLight Blue’s strength and efficiency. According to SLD, the module “delivers over 20 watts from a 100-micron transport fibre”.

However, the potential of the LaserLight Blue module is much greater. These modular units can scale, allowing engineering teams to form power systems via optical fibre chaining. SLD claims these scaled systems can deliver hundreds of watts of power, utilising fibres under 600 microns wide.

When applications become more demanding, the LaserLight Blue is a capable growth platform.

 

The LaserLight Blue module. Image courtesy of SLD.

 

These capabilities are packed into a unit the size of a credit card, which SLD deems ultracompact. Considering these modules easily scale, this diminutive design shines when space is limited.

 

A Plethora of Potential Applications

Because the LaserLight Blue emits blue light, it is a capable tool for materials processing. Its 450nm wavelength is readily absorbed by inorganic materials. SLD pegs aluminium, stainless steel, nickel, gold, titanium, and silver as optimal materials for the LaserLight Blue. Plating applications and thin metal processes are also ideal matches for SLD’s latest module.

The LaserLight Blue is a superb fit in the automotive and electronics industries, where copper welding is integral to battery production. As we accelerate electric-vehicle production, these modules will become key engineering tools. Intricate practices like 3D printing will benefit from its power and precision. Engraving and cutting are in the LaserLight Blue’s wheelhouse.

Aside from manmade and natural materials, the module has biomedical potential. Bodily tissues and compounds, such as haemoglobin and melanin, eagerly absorb blue light. In fact, SLD says this blue light permeates 10 times better than competing alternatives. Dermatology and surgery stand to benefit.

With its low beam angle, the module also has an immense range. Resultantly, SLD hopes to apply these units to the autonomous driving space—particularly in LiDAR applications. Engineers can produce next-generation safety and detection systems. Similarly, these sources are suitable for heads-up displays and AR/VR visual systems.

 

A Note on Safety

The LaserLight Blue can be paired with a phosphor element, effectively creating broad-spectrum white light.

Accordingly, this white light is much safer for human eyes. This has earned the LaserLight Blue UL and IEC safety certifications. Despite being such a powerful module, user safety is also paramount.

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