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High Power Fiber Lasers technology breakthroughs enabling deployment of Laser directed energy weapons

Laser, a device that stimulates atoms or molecules to emit light at particular wavelengths and amplifies that light, typically producing a very narrow beam of radiation. The emission generally covers an extremely limited range of visible, infrared, or ultraviolet wavelengths. Many different types of lasers have been developed, with highly varied characteristics. Laser is an acronym for “light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation.”

 

Lasers deliver coherent, monochromatic, well-controlled, and precisely directed light beams. Most laser applications fall into one of a few broad categories: (1) transmission and processing of information, (2) precise delivery of energy, and (3) alignment, measurement, and imaging. These categories cover diverse applications, from pinpoint energy delivery for delicate surgery to heavy-duty welding and from the mundane alignment of suspended ceilings to laboratory measurements of atomic properties.

 

Scientists have shown that lasers can concentrate extremely high powers in either pulses or continuous beams. Major applications for these high-power levels are fusion research, nuclear weapons testing, and missile defense. Extremely high temperatures and pressures are needed to force atomic nuclei to fuse together, releasing energy. In the 1960s physicists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California calculated that intense laser pulses could produce those conditions by heating and compressing tiny pellets containing mixtures of hydrogen isotopes.

 

Military also uses laser as weapons called  Laser Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs). Laser technology provides major advantages for military applications over kinetic weapons due to High precision and rapid on-target effect, precise and scalable effects, avoidance of collateral damage caused by fragmenting ammunition, Low logistics overhead, and minimum costs per firing.

 

The development of laser weapons requires many critical technologies, first is development of lasers capable of generating powers in kilowatts to megawatts range to be able to produce useful damage effects on the target. Laser require a power of the order of 100 kW, to be employed as directed energy weapons, in varieties of missions such as wide-area, ground-based defense against rockets, artillery and mortars; precision strike missions for airborne platforms; and shipboard defense against cruise missiles. To destroy anti-ship cruise missiles would require a beam of 500 kilowatts and demand megawatts of power.

 

Chemical lasers are the only systems that have produced megawatt-level outputs, however, they require special handling because of toxic chemicals hence fallen out of favor. Another reason is that they rely on what is essentially an external/independent power source, and thus lack the key strategic value of directed energy weapons: a virtually unlimited magazine.

 

The push to optimize the size, weight and power (called SWaP in military parlance) of field deployed laser weapons has driven a progression in the technology of the gain material used from chemical (e.g. deuterium fluoride), to solid state, and, most recently, to fiber. Fiber lasers have emerged most promising technology, for directed energy weapons due to their many advantages like: high electrical to-optical efficiency (40%), high reliability for operation in harsh military environments, and high beam quality near diffraction-limited light output.

 

Three core technologies for generating high power  lasers include:

Fiber lasers. While typically used in the commercial material processing industry, this laser technology dominates the lower end of the power scale offering 1kW to tens of kilowatts of power. However, the size and weight requirements make industrially engineered fiber lasers challenging to integrate into defense platforms.

Solid-state lasers. This could include slab and disk lasers which are currently used in battlefield targeting applications. The power level of solid-state laser technology offers a range of hundreds of kilowatts. DE lasers in the class of 100 kW to 1 MW are needed to pursue applications such as anti-cruise and ballistic missiles.

Hybrid lasers. Diode-pumped alkali lasers are a prominent example of the new hybrid technology, which includes elements of both fiber and solid-state laser technologies. Hybrid technology strives to achieve megawatt power levels at size and weight targets compatible with airborne platforms.

 

Solid state lasers are electrically powered, and they are separated into three types: Fiber solid-state lasers like LaWS, slab solid-state lasers, and free electron lasers. While they avoid the complicated logistics associated with chemical lasers, SSLs are generally not very efficient. The fiber laser is a variation on the standard solid-state laser, with the medium being a clad fiber rather than a rod, a slab, or a disk and Laser light is emitted by a dopant in the central core of the fiber.

 

All three types of directed energy laser technologies — fiber, solid-state or hybrid, have one thing in common —they are all optically pumped with a laser diode. Laser diodes offer an electrical-to-optical conversion efficiency over 60% and are easily scalable to MWs of power. This is an essential element for directed energy applications, as the increased power is needed to reduce the time the laser needs to be held on target and allows for effective targeting at an increased range.

 

Developers got around the limits on single-mode fiber lasers by finding ways to combine the beams from multiple fiber lasers to generate high-power, high-intensity beams. The simplest approach is incoherent beam combination, which Phillip Sprangle and colleagues at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory tested by combining beams from four fiber lasers onto a target 3.2 km away. They delivered a total of 5 kW to the target, and concluded that at such distances there “is little difference in the energy on target between coherently and incoherently combined laser beams for multi-kilometer propagation ranges and moderate to high levels of turbulence.”That inspired the U.S. Office of Naval Research to buy half a dozen 5.5-kW industrial fiber lasers from IPG, and combine their beams incoherently by aiming them with different mirrors through a single telescope toward the same target. Called Navy LaWS, for Laser Weapon System, it was mounted on the USS Ponce when it was deployed to the Persian Gulf.

 

Fiber lasers can satisfy extreme power requirements. The U.S. Navy’s Laser Weapon System (LaWS), tested  by the Naval Sea System Command, has six fiber lasers, each emitting 5.5 kW, incoherently combined into one beam and fired through a beam director . The 33 kW system was used to shoot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Although the beam was not single-transverse-mode, the system is of interest because it can be constructed of standard, easily-available components.

 

 

High Power and efficient Fiber Laser technology

Fiber laser is a device in which “the active gain medium is an optical fiber doped with rare-earth elements such as erbium, ytterbium, neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium, thulium and holmium.”  The idea of confining the photons within the rare-earth doped fiber is what gives the fiber laser its principal advantage over rivals: stability. Because a fiber laser generates its beam inside the core, delivery of the beam doesn’t require complex or sensitive optical equipment.

 

A normal laser, on the other hand, either uses an optical fiber to move the laser beam or uses mirrors to bounce it around. Either approach works, but both require extremely precise alignment. That makes normal lasers sensitive to movement and impact. And once things go out of alignment, a specialist has to set things right. A fiber laser has no such sensitivity. It’s stable. A fiber laser can handle the bumps, knocks, vibrations and general discord of any assembly line.

 

The most common geometry of the fiber used in fiber lasers is a dual-core structure. An undoped outer core (sometimes called an inner cladding) collects the pump light and guides it along the fiber. Stimulated emission generated in the fiber passes through the inner core, which often is singlemode. The inner core contains the dopant (ytterbium or erbium) that is stimulated to emit radiation by the pump light. The doped fiber has a cavity mirror on each end; in practice, these are fiber Bragg gratings, which can be fabricated within the fiber. Numerous noncircular variations exist on the shape of the outer core; these shapes, which include hexagonal, D-shaped, and rectangular, decrease the chances of the pump light missing the central core.

 

However, the fiber host is usually silica glass with a rare earth dopant in the core. The primary dopants are ytterbium and erbium. Ytterbium has center wavelengths ranging from about 1030 to 1080 nm and can emit in a broader range of wavelengths if pushed. Using pump diodes emitting in the 940 nm range can make the photon deficit very small. Ytterbium has none of the self-quenching effects that occur in neodymium at high densities, which is why neodymium is used in bulk lasers and ytterbium is used in fiber lasers (they both provide roughly the same wavelength).

 

Erbium fiber lasers emit at 1530 to 1620 nm, which is an eye-safe wavelength range. This can be frequency-doubled to generate light at 780 nm—a wavelength that’s not available from fiber lasers in other ways. And finally, ytterbium can be added to erbium so that the ytterbium absorbs pump light and transfers that energy to erbium. Thulium is another dopant that emits even deeper into the near-infrared (NIR; 1750 to 2100 nm), and is thus another eye-safe material

 

A fiber laser can be end- or side-pumped. In end-pumping, the light from one or many pump lasers is fired into the end of the fiber. In side-pumping, pump light is coupled into the side of the fiber; actually, it is fed into a coupler that couples it into the outer core.

 

Power limitations can arise, particularly from working within a singlemode fiber. Such a fiber core has a very small cross-sectional area, and as a result, very high-intensity light going through it. Nonlinear Brillouin scattering becomes increasingly important at these high intensities, and can limit output at multikilowatt levels. If the output is high enough, the fiber end can be optically damaged.

 

Another advantage is that fiber lasers are power efficient. A fiber laser can convert nearly 100 percent of the input it receives into the beam, thus limiting the amount of power that is converted into heat energy, That means the fiber tends to stay safe from heat damage or fracture. All of this adds up to a robust laser that requires next-to-no maintenance.

 

High power fiber lasers possess unique combination of properties that make them excel over conventional non-laser and competing laser technologies on both quality and cost:

  • inherently higher brightness (high power and small spot size)
  • Excellent beam quality: The beam quality is determined by the wave-guiding properties of the fiber and is extraordinarily stable, even in the presence of environmental perturbations and changes in optical power level. With suitable designs, fiber lasers can provide single-mode (diffraction-limited) beam quality, although this feature is not typically used for multi-kW industrial applications. The high beam quality of fiber lasers enables:
  • superior reliability/ hot redundancy : A unique feature of fiber lasers is the ability to use fiber-based components and fusion splicing (melting together of the fibers) to completely eliminate free-space optics and their associated mounts and adjustments between the pump diodes and the process head. The optical beams are confined to a sealed, stable, alignment-free optical system that is impervious to vibration, contamination, power changes, etc. When pumped with single-emitter-based pumps with telecomgrade reliability, these fiber lasers have no consumables other than electricity and require no routine maintenance.
  • wall-plug efficiency exceeding that of high brightness direct diode systems, typically achieving 30% and with the capability of 50%. In addition to reducing power consumption, high efficiency minimizes cooling requirements, further reducing power consumption, cost, and floor space required for the laser system.
  • modularity and scalability allowing for easy maintenance and low down time
  • fiber optic delivery with a wide choice of output fiber core diameters optimized for the application
  • compact rugged design
  • ease of integration with scanners and optical heads
  • availability of beam switches, couplers and sharers providing unique versatility.

 

Fiber laser Configurations

Continuous-wave fiber lasers can be either single- or multimode (in terms of transverse modes). A single mode produces a high-quality beam for materials working or sending a beam through the atmosphere, while multimode industrial lasers can generate higher raw power. If an application does not require the extremely high intensities resulting from singlemode operation, the higher total power from multimode operation is often an advantage—for example, for some kinds of cutting and welding, and particularly for heat-treating, where a large area is illuminated.

 

Long-pulse fiber lasers are essentially quasi-CW lasers, typically producing millisecond-type pulses. Typically they have a 10% duty cycle (resulting from the pump diode modulation). This results in higher peak powers than in CW operation—typically on the order of ten times higher. This can be an advantage for some kinds of materials working such as pulse drilling. The repetition rate can range up to 500 Hz, depending on the pulse duration.

Key differences among laser designs include:

  • the nature of the gain media,
  • how the gain media are energized (pumped),
  • the design of the cavity,
  • the inclusion of components to control the spectral, spatial, and temporal characteristics of the output beam,
  • the optical system employed to deliver the laser beam to the application, and the coupling among these components.

 

The choices made by the laser designer among these technologies determine all of the important laser characteristics, including performance (power, efficiency, beam quality, wavelength, polarization, stability, etc.) and practicality (cost, reliability, manufacturability, serviceability, etc.), which ultimately determine the suitability of the laser source for the intended applications.

 

Three key technologies have been especially important for the development of high-performance, high-reliability lasers for industrial applications:

  1. Diode laser pump sources: Diode (semiconductor) lasers directly convert electrical energy to light with high efficiency (>50%). Continuous improvements, particularly during and after the telecommunications boom of the 1990s, have dramatically increased the power, efficiency, and reliability of diode lasers. Diode lasers are particularly well suited for pumping solid-state gain media because of their brightness and spectral characteristics. Diode lasers are manufactured in two formats: (a) single emitters, in which each semiconductor chip includes one light-producing region (emitter) that typically provides 10 – 20 W of power; and (b) diode bars, in which multiple emitters are included within one semiconductor structure. Single emitters were developed extensively for telecom (and the advances continue to this day); they provide the highest power, brightness, efficiency, modulation rate, and reliability (>1,000,000 hr. mean time to failure), in part because the emitters are thermally and electrically decoupled, and they can be efficiently coupled into an optical fiber.
  2. Solid-state gain media: Solid-state gain media are generally more reliable and require less maintenance and consumables than gaseous or liquid gain media. Most solid-state gain media are composed of a rare-earth element, which provides optical gain, doped into a crystalline or glass host. The choice of the rare-earth dopant(s) and host material determines the absorbing (pumping) and emitting (lasing) wavelengths and the efficiency, which in turn determine the attainable power and beam quality. Yb-doped gain media are particularly well suited for high-power applications because they are pumped at 910 – 980 nm, where diode lasers offer the highest power and efficiency, and lase in the wavelength range of 1030 – 1090 nm, where the small energy difference from the pump wavelength (“quantum defect”) enables operation at high optical-to-optical (pump-to-lasing) efficiency and correspondingly low thermal load.
  3. Optical fibers: An optical fiber is a strand of glass (typically silica-based) that guides light by total internal reflection, thereby eliminating the effects of diffraction. Confining a laser beam to a fiber enables low-loss transmission and delivery of optical power without the use of mirrors, lenses, or other free-space optics that are prone to misalignment, contamination, and damage and whose performance can be degraded by vibration, temperature variations, other environmental factors, and optical power changes. Passive optical fibers simply transmit light, whereas active optical fibers, in which the core is doped with a rare-earth element and pumped by a diode laser, provide gain. The fiber gain medium offers the highest optical-to-optical efficiency because of the long optical path length and excellent overlap of the lasing beam with the gain region. Furthermore, the high surface-area-to-volume ratio facilitates heat removal, making the fiber gain medium particularly well suited to power scaling. Finally, the mirrors required to form a laser cavity can be written into passive optical fiber (fiber Bragg gratings) and spliced to the gain fiber. As with pump diodes, advances in optical fibers have been driven by telecommunications applications and continue today.

 

The highest single-mode power available from a fiber laser is 10 kW, from IPG Photonics. In the system, a master oscillator produces a kilowatt of optical power that is fed into an amplifier stage pumped at 1018 nm with light from other fiber lasers. The entire laser system is about the size of two refrigerators. IPG’s High Power CW recent Fiber Lasers cover output power range from 1 kW to over 100 kW and feature a wide range of operating wavelengths, single-mode and multi-mode options, high stability and extremely long pump diode lifetime. These lasers are water-cooled and can be supplied with a built-in or standalone chiller. The lasers are available with a wide variety of fiber terminations, collimation optics and processing heads.

 

The highest multimode power reached is 50 kW, also by IPG Photonics. The system relies on incoherent beam combination, so it’s not a super high-quality beam (beam parameter product of 10, M2 of 33). This laser has been shipped around the country and has operated at 50 kilowatts in five states. This is the kind of durability that makes fiber lasers attractive for industry. Their primary use is in industrial materials working, a billion-dollar market for fiber lasers. Multimode fiber lasers can operate at continuous power levels to 100 kW because their larger cores spread the laser power through a larger volume, reducing the power density that contributes to nonlinear effects.

 

Q-switching is possible in fiber lasers, with the principle being the same as for bulk Q-switched lasers. Typical pulse lengths range from low nanosecond up to the microsecond range; the longer the fiber, the more time is needed to Q-switch the output, producing a longer pulse. Fiber properties impose some limitations on Q-switching. Nonlinearities are more severe in a fiber laser due to the core’s small cross-sectional area, so the peak power has to be somewhat limited. One can either use bulk Q-switches, giving higher performance, or a fiber Q-switch, which is spliced to the ends of the active part of the fiber laser.

 

The Q-switched pulses can be amplified in fiber or in bulk. An example of the latter is found at the National Ignition Facility (NIF; Livermore, CA), where a fiber laser is the master oscillator for the 192 beams of the NIF laser: Small pulses from the fiber laser are amplified up to megajoule size in large slabs of doped glass.  Q-switched fiber lasers are used, for example, in pulsed materials working, such as laser marking or working semiconductor electronics. The are also used for lidar; a module green module about the size of one’s hand, contains an eye-safe erbium fiber laser with a 4 kW peak power, a 50 kHz repetition rate, and a 5-to-15-ns pulse duration.

 

In modelocked fiber lasers, the repetition rate depends on the length of the gain material, as in any kind of modelocking scheme, while pulse duration depends on the gain bandwidth. The shortest achievable oscillator pulses are in the 50 fs range, with more typical durations in the 100 fs range. Shorter pulses can be generated in oscillator-amplifier systems with external chirped-pulse amplification and subsequent pulse compression.

 

Fiber Laser Welding Cuts Costs and Improves Results | Features | Summer 2017 | EuroPhotonics

 

High Efficiency

Using a fiber as a laser medium gives a long interaction length, which works well for diode-pumping. This geometry results in high photon conversion efficiency, as well as a rugged and compact design. When fiber components are spliced together, there are no discrete optics to adjust or to get out of alignment.

 

Fiber lasers are quasi-three-level systems. A pump photon excites a transition from a ground state to an upper level; the laser transition is a drop from the lowest part of the upper level down into some of the split ground states. This is very efficient: For example, ytterbium with a pump photon at 940 nm produces an emitted photon at 1030 nm-a quantum defect (lost energy) of only about 9%

 

Overall fiber-laser efficiency is the result of a two-stage process. First is the efficiency of the pump diode. Semiconductor lasers are very efficient, with on the order of 50% electrical-to-optical efficiency. Laboratory results are even better, with 70% or even more of the electrical pump energy being converted into light. When this output is matched carefully to the fiber laser’s absorption line, the result is the pump efficiency. The second is the optical-to-optical conversion efficiency. With a small photon defect, high excitation and extraction efficiency can be achieved, producing an optical-to-optical conversion efficiency on the order of 60% to 70%. The result is a wall-plug efficiency in the 25% to 35% range.

 

In terms of SWaP optimization of pump diodes for laser weapons, a current benchmark is to achieve a weight to output power ratio of 1 kg/kW. Coherent | DILAS has developed several advances in diode laser technology to reach this goal, and, in fact, is already working on devices that will attain the next level of performance – 0.5 kg for 1 kW of output.

 

Existing lasers generally dissipate two-thirds to three-quarters of the energy as heat, requiring still-bulky cooling equipment to avoid overheating damage. Air cooling can yield an unacceptable delay between shots. A key factor for fiber lasers is that the fiber has a large surface-to-volume ratio so that heat can be dissipated relatively easily. Both solid state (e.g. slab and rod) and fiber lasers can be diode pumped, and diode power supplies and pump modules themselves are electrically efficient and lend themselves to miniaturization. This efficiency, in turn, reduces the cooling requirements, and all its attendant equipment (pumps, heat exchangers, etc.).

 

Researchers Use Nano-Particles to Increase Power, Improve Eye Safety of Fiber Lasers

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have devised a new process for using nano-particles to build powerful lasers that are more efficient and safer for your eyes. They’re doing it with what’s called “rare-earth-ion-doped fiber.” Put simply, it’s laser light pumping a silica fiber that has been infused with rare earth ions of holmium. According to Jas S. Sanghera, who heads the Optical Materials and Devices Branch, they have achieved an 85 percent efficiency with their new process. “Doping just means we’re putting rare earth ions into the core of the fiber, which is where all the action happens,” Sanghera explained. “That’s how we’ve produced this world record efficiency, and it’s what we need for a high-energy, eye-safer laser.”

 

According to Colin Baker, research chemist with the Optical Materials and Devices Branch, the lasing process relies on a pump source–most often another laser—which excites the rare earth ions, which then emit photons to produce a high quality light for lasing at the desired wavelength. “But this process has a penalty,” Baker said. “It’s never 100 percent efficient. What you’re putting in is pump energy, not the high quality light at the wavelength you want. What’s coming out is a much higher quality of light at the specific wavelength that you want, but the remaining energy that isn’t converted into laser light is wasted and converted into heat.”

 

That loss of energy, Baker said, ultimately limits power scaling and the quality of the laser light, which makes efficiency especially important. With the aid of a nano-particle ‘dopant,’ they’re able to achieve the 85 percent level of efficiency with a laser that operates at a 2 microns wavelength, which is considered an “eye-safer” wavelength, rather than the traditional 1 micron. Of course, Baker pointed out, no laser can be said to be safe when it comes to the human eye.

 

The danger arises from the potential of scattered light to be reflected into the eye during a laser’s operation. Scattered light from the path of a 100-kilowatt laser operating at 1 micron can cause significant damage to the retina, leading to blindness. With an eye-safer laser, operated at wavelengths beyond 1.4 micron, however, the danger from scattered light is considerably lessened. According to Baker, the nano-particle doping also solves several other problems, such as that it shields the rare earth ions from the silica. At 2 microns, the silica’s glassy structure can reduce the light output from the rare earth ions. The nanoparticle doping also separates the rare earth ions from each other, which is helpful since packing them closely together can also reduce the light output.

 

“The solution was some very clever chemistry that dissolved holmium in a nano-powder of lutetia or lanthanum oxide or lanthanum fluoride to create a suitable crystal environment [for the rare earth ions],” Sanghera said. “Using bucket chemistry to synthesize this nano-powder was key in keeping the cost down.” The particles of the nano-particle powder, which Sanghera’s team had originally synthesized for a previous project, are typically less than 20 nanometers, which is 5,000 times smaller than a human hair. “Additionally, we had to be able to successfully dope these nano-powders into the silica fiber in quantities that would be suitable to achieve lasing,” he added.

 

At the Optical Materials and Devices Branch, Sanghera’s team of scientists are working with a room-sized, glass-working lathe, where the glass that will eventually become the fiber is cleaned with fluorine gases, molded with a blow torch and infused with the nano-particle mixture – what the scientists call a “nanoparticle slurry.” The result is a rare-earth-ion-doped, one-inch diameter, glass rod, or “optical preform.” Next door, scientists use a fiber pulling system—a tower so massive that it takes up two large rooms and; the height of two floors of the building—to soften the preform with a furnace and elongate it, in a process akin to pulling taffy, into an optical fiber about as thin as a human hair, which then spools onto a nearby large spindle.

 

Sanghera’s team has already submitted a patent application for the process. Among the potential applications they envision for the new specialty fiber laser are high powered lasers and amplifiers for defense, telecommunications and even welding and laser-cutting. “From a fundamental perspective, the whole process is commercially viable,” Sanghera said. “It’s a low-cost process to make the powder and incorporate it into the fiber. The process is very similar to making telecom fiber.” The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country’s position of global naval leadership. With more than 2,500 personnel scientists, engineers and support staff, it has served the U.S. Navy and the nation for nearly 100 years, advancing research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website and join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

 

T-Bar (for “tailored” bar) construction

One key to reaching the SWaP benchmark has been the company’s introduction of T-Bar (for “tailored” bar) construction, a design approach intended to combine the high total output power of traditional diode laser bars with the relaxed cooling requirements of single emitters. The basic unit of the T-Bar is a diode laser mini-bar having five emitters on a single, 5 mm wide substrate which outputs about 50 W total.

 

For military applications, four of these T-Bar dies are mounted on to a single substrate, yielding a total of 20 emitters. Then, up to four of these substrates are stacked vertically, bringing the total number of individual emitters in this compact assembly to 80, with a total output of about 800 W.

 

The key optical characteristic of the TBar design is that the combination of wide emitter spacing, low divergence and relatively low beam parameter product (in both fast and slow axes) is tailored to enable the light from all 80 of these individual emitters to be efficiently colinearized and coupled into a single 225 μm core fiber having a numerical aperture of only 0.22. This, in turn, permits highly efficient coupling into the pumping mode volume of the gain fiber. And, this light collection can be accomplished using a relatively simple and compact optical system. This is how output power per unit volume is maximized.

 

The larger emitter spacing of the T-Bar largely eliminates this thermal crosstalk, and greatly relaxes the attendant cooling requirement. As a result, Coherent | DILAS has been able to introduce a “macrochannel” cooler. This is a system which uses substantially larger bore channels, thus allowing the use of less stringently filtered tap water, and eliminating the need for high pressure pumping. Also, the reduced cooling requirement enables the laser bar to be placed on a submount, rather than in direct electrical contact with the cooler, which avoids the necessity of using deionized water.

 

Fiber laser Market

The global fiber laser market size is poised to grow by USD 8.33 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of over 11% throughout the forecast period, according to the latest report by Technavio. The demand for enhanced productivity will be a significant factor in driving the fiber laser market growth. The aerospace and defense, consumer electronics, healthcare, industrial, and manufacturing industries are increasingly adopting new technologies and tools to enhance their productivity.

 

Fiber laser cutting systems are known to offer higher productivity than a CO2 laser system. Hence, with the increasing demand for enhanced productivity from end-user industries, the need for fiber lasers will also grow. Fiber laser offers several advantages over gas or other solid-state lasers. The optical fiber used as an active gain medium in a fiber laser can be twisted to accommodate any directional changes. The flexibility of fiber lasers allows for a compact design of cutting heads. The absence of any moving parts makes the maintenance of fiber lasers easier than other laser sources. The efficient cooling mechanisms allow fiber lasers to operate continuously for longer durations. The demand for fiber laser cutting will be especially high in the electronic and medical industries where twists and turns in miniature products and micro-cutting applications is required. The growing use of fiber lasers in thin-sheet and micro-cutting applications, which is one of the critical fiber laser market trends, will positively influence the growth of the market during the forecast period.

 

The major fiber laser market growth came from the material processing segment. Several firms are replacing their CO2 lasers with fiber lasers to increase their productivity and ROI. The rising demand for fiber lasers for coding and marking requirements and growing demand for miniaturization of ICs and wafers will fuel the demand for fiber lasers for materials processing applications. Market growth in this segment will be faster than the growth of the market in the advanced application, healthcare, and other segments.

 

APAC will offer several growth opportunities to market vendors during the forecast period. Growing demand for semiconductor chips and the presence of several industrial manufacturing plants in APAC will significantly influence fiber laser market growth in this region. China, India, and Japan are the key markets for fiber laser in APAC. Market growth in this region will be faster than the growth of the market in other regions.

 

The global fiber laser market is fragmented. ABB Ltd., Amonics Ltd., Coherent Inc., FANUC Corp., IPG Photonics Corp., Jenoptik AG, MKS Instruments Inc., NKT Photonics AS, OMRON Corp., and TRUMPF GmbH + Co. KG. are some of the major market participants. To help clients improve their market position, this fiber laser market forecast report provides a detailed analysis of the market leaders.

 

 

References and Resources also include:

https://www.techbriefs.com/component/content/article/tb/features/articles/26467

https://www.nrl.navy.mil/news/releases/researchers-use-nano-particles-increase-power-improve-eye-safety-fiber-lasers

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201102005756/en/Fiber-Laser-Market-Report-2020-2024-COVID-19-Growth-and-Change

 

 

About Rajesh Uppal

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