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October 8, 2014 | News & Notices Expanded Product Line of Short-Wavelength Lasers for Materials Processing and Measuring Applications
-High-Brightness Blue Direct Diode Laser Also Released to Provide New Techniques for Microfabrication-

On October 14, Shimadzu Corporation expanded its product line of high-output high-brightness short-wavelength laser products by releasing the HK-5650 fiber-coupled blue direct diode laser and also by starting sales of Oxide brand Frequad series continuous wave 266 nm DUV solid-state lasers. Both products will be exhibited at InterOpto 2014 (October 15 to 17 at Pacifico Yokohama, Japan).

In anticipation of the expected sharp expansion in the global market for materials processing lasers, Shimadzu has been focusing efforts on establishing a business supplying lasers with next-generation functionality used for processing materials. As a result, Shimadzu developed the HK-5650 10 W output fiber-coupled blue direct diode laser, as a strategic product.
The direct diode laser offers the advantages of small size, high electrical-to-optical conversion efficiency, and potentially low costs from mass production. However, increasing the output requires a large light emitting surface, which reduces brightness. Also, due to the infrared light it produces, conventionally its applications have been limited to heating or welding plastics. This product offers 16 times higher* brightness than previous models at the short 450 nm wavelength, where absorption by metals is high, and has an especially small spot size. Therefore, it is ideal for applications such as microfabrication of highly reflective and highly thermally conductive materials such as gold and copper, which has been increasing in demand due to the diversification of processed materials and the miniaturization of smart phones and other electronic devices. It is also ideal for 3D printers, which attracted considerable interest in recent years. Furthermore, research is being conducted on using it for next-generation lighting applications, where it is ideally suited laser excitation source for white phosphor. The fiber-coupled design allows transmission flexibility for a high degree of freedom and superior general applicability.
We also intend to continue increasing output and brightness levels in the future and take advantage of the technology we have cultivated with this product thus far to develop high-brightness red and green laser modules as well, which could be used in RGB (red-green-blue) light sources for large projectors.

For even shorter wavelengths in the UV region, we also started selling Frequad series continuous wavelength 266 nm DUV solid-state lasers developed and manufactured by Oxide Corporation. Oxide is a venture company spun off from the Japanese National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) that has sophisticated laser technology based on superior crystal growth technology, which can also be used for laser crystals. This DUV laser is a single wavelength light source with a narrow spectral band of 0.005 pm or less, which makes it perfect as a light source in analytical and measuring instruments or semiconductor inspection systems. The product line includes four models, with outputs ranging from 10 mW to 2 W, which accommodates a wide range of applications. In addition to the blue laser described above, we will use this product to promote the sales of lasers used in the UV region, which Shimadzu did not previously offer.

Shimadzu is planning to expand its laser business by expanding the product line to meet the diverse needs of customers in the laser processing field, which accounts for 30 percent of the light source market, in the analytical and measuring instrument field, where we can expect to reap synergistic benefits with our core business, and in other new application fields.

(*) According to a Shimadzu investigation.

Features of the HK-5650 Fiber-Coupled Blue Direct Diode Laser

1. Highest Brightness Levels in the Industry

Based on a GaN direct diode laser used for blue ray discs, projectors, and so on, we succeeded in achieving 16 times higher brightness than previous fiber-coupled blue direct diode lasers by utilizing our precision optical device assembly and highly resistant coating technology that we have cultivated thus far, and newly developed optical multiplexing technology.
The spot size is an extremely small 100 µm diameter, which makes it suitable for microfabrication applications as well.

2. Offering New Applications

Due to the short 450 nm wavelength used, absorption by metals such as gold and copper is high. Therefore, it is ideal for precision processing, such as for circuit patterns on circuit boards or for processing semiconductor thin films.
By taking advantage of its high directionality, it is anticipated for use as a light source in laser lighting, where research is progressing toward developing the next generation of lighting technology, after fluorescent and LED lighting.

3. Outstanding Cost/Performance Value

Because blue direct diode lasers can be used directly for laser processing, they are less expensive and consume about half the power compared to solid-state green lasers that use solid-state or fiber lasers. Maintenance is also easier than CO2 or solid-state green lasers.

HK-5650 Fiber-Coupled Blue Direct Diode Laser

Features of the Frequad Series Continuous Wavelength 266 nm DUV Solid-State Lasers

Frequad-C DUV Solid-State Laser (20 mW output model)

The product line includes four models, with outputs ranging from 10 mW to 2 W, which accommodates a wide range of applications.

For more details, visit Shimadzu Optical and Laser Devices