New diamond laser 20 times more powerful

August 13, 2015, Macquarie University
Credit: Dr Robert Williams

Researchers from the MQ Photonics Research Centre joined with fiber laser experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering in Jena, Germany to demonstrate a diamond laser 20 times more powerful than previous diamond lasers.

Average power levels were less than 20 Watts, with the new laser now providing up to 380 Watts of output power – the equivalent of approximately 400,000 and enough power to easily cut through steel.

High-power diamond lasers are well-suited to applications that require beaming power over long distances, such as optical communications in space, laser ranging, and the tracking and removal of space debris.

Diamond is a relatively new material for creating , but it is rapidly becoming a technology leader in terms of generating powerful, high-brightness beams at wavelengths, or 'colours', where traditional lasers are not able to shine.

"Just as x-rays pass through flesh to enable us to see bones within a body, different colours of laser radiation can interact or be transmitted by different target materials," said Dr Robert Williams, the lead researcher on the project.

The wavelength of the new diamond laser, at 1240nm, has high transmission through the atmosphere, and is safer to use because of its reduced transmission through the front of the eye and lower risk of damage to the retina.

Diamond lasers have progressed enormously over the last few years due to advances in synthesis of high quality diamond – better than what can be obtained naturally.

"Diamond is an ancient material, yet only now many of its extraordinary properties are becoming evident. High power lasers is one such area that diamond looks like providing a major advantage," said Rich Mildren, Associate Professor in the MQ Photonics Research Centre.

"Diamond crystals seems to naturally fit to high fiber lasers. It's interesting to see that such a development is now possible and I'm sure much exciting research will follow," said Thomas Schreiber, group leader for the fiber laser research at the Fraunhofer IOF Jena, Germany.

"Around the time of its invention, the was famously labelled 'a solution in need of a problem', but now it has penetrated so many aspects of industry, science and our daily lives that the number of applications are countless. A key to unlocking many more applications of lasers will be the development of high-brightness beams at new wavelengths, and diamond is providing just that," said Dr Williams.

Explore further: Diamond makes laser beams more brilliant

More information: "Efficient Raman frequency conversion of high-power fiber lasers in diamond." Laser & Photon. Rev., 9: 405–411. doi: 10.1002/lpor.201500032

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not rated yet Aug 13, 2015
Thanks for your input #Ogg... It is significant that further work can lead to more improvement on this line as well. Inasmuch as fiber lasers lend themselves well to cluster scalability, Very powerful machines are possible and with military uses as well.

This could also be the key to ground powered and based external laser propulsion of gravity well to orbit satellites until we gain compact fusion ship based power for ship take-off n landing

For communication however, my gut tells me that advances in quantum entanglement research will yield devices for which distance and time are not in the equation, allowing instantaneous control and transmission to our deep space satellites/probes/exploration ships of the near future. The only problem is we would so far need to create the entangled pairs here, and take one of them with us to the remote location...Mars or Europa for example. Once there it could be used most practically as a relay for many other satellites, for example.
not rated yet Aug 17, 2015
the equivalent of approximately 400,000 laser pointers

The low-cost availability of infrared (IR) diode laser modules of up to 1000 mW (1 watt) output has created a generation of IR-pumped frequency doubled called diode-pumped solid-state laser laser pointers

It seems the 400.000 is a bit exaggerated or am I missing something here?

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