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Analog vs. digital modulation – Which is better for you?

For people without a background in electrical engineering, understanding the finer details of analog and digital modulation can be quite challenging.  This is compounded by the fact that most texts on the subject already assume that the reader has a working knowledge of linear systems and Fourier analysis, which can be a significant obstacle for most. Therefore, it is no wonder that one of the most frequently asked questions we get here at RPMC, is “should I use analog or digital modu… Read More

Pros & Cons of Pigtailed Laser Diodes vs. Detachable Fiber Coupled

Approximately half of the laser diodes that we provide here at RPMC Lasers are fiber-coupled.  For this reason, we have decided to build upon our recent two-part blog on fiber coupling in our Laser Diode Fundamentals series by exploring the differences between pigtailed laser diodes and fiber-coupled laser diodes.  To understand the differences, first, it is helpful for us to review core diameter, which is an important principle discussed in the first part of our fiber coupling series. When thinking about a fiber’s core, it is useful to separate them into two different categories single-mode and … Read More

How Removing the TEC Increases Laser Diode Stability

As most people already understand, a laser diodes performance is highly dependent on its operating temperature, which is why most mid- to high-end laser packages utilize embedded thermoelectric coolers (TECs).  The strong temperature dependence arises from two fundamental properties of the diode itself.  First, as the temperature of the semiconductor varies, it’s gain band shifts up or down, this is known as redshifting and blu… Read More

3 important things when choosing a laser combiner for Flow Cytometry

As discussed in a previous blog post, flow cytometry is an extremely valuable methodology employed by scientists around the world for analyzing individual cells via fluorescence tagging.  By using several lasers throughout the visible spectrum, you can now excite a wide variety of fluorophores such as the ones shown in the figure below, increasing the number specific cell properties that you … Read More

Automotive LIDAR

Over the past year, we here at RPMC Lasers have published several different pieces of technical content on various LIDAR applications.  Some of our more recent posts include a white paper titled “Single Frequency Fiber Lasers for Doppler LIDAR,” and a blog post on the use of aerial LIDAR in bathymetry.  LIDAR is quickly becoming one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the overall laser market.  In fact, Market Insider recently reported that “ The market for LIDAR is expected to grow double in size in the next five… Read More

Laser Diode Fundamentals: Bandgap Energy and Wavelength

Diode lasers are unique amongst most other laser sources for their extensive range of available wavelengths.   The breadth of output wavelengths has allowed diodes to become one of the most versatile laser sources, with wavelengths available from ultraviolet to the infrared.  To understand why semiconductor diodes have such a wide range of wavelength options, we must first take a look at the underlying physical principles behind energy levels and stimulated… Read More

Arroyo Releases New TEC Controller for OEM Applications

Arroyo Instruments is proud to announce the release of the new 586 Series TECPak.  The 586 TECPak offers up to 392W of output power and its display-less operation is a combination of its smaller brother (the 585 TECPak) plus the high-power output of the 5400 TECSource. Arroyo Instruments designs and manufactures highly accurate laser diode drivers, temperature controllers, and fixtures for test and measurement of laser diodes… Read More

The Three Leading Aesthetics Applications

RPMC Lasers has made this blog post to show the top three aesthetic laser applications our customers have worked on. Our team of laser experts have over 100 years of combined experience working with our customers, and during that time, we have helped countless engineers and designers by combining our understanding of lasers with their knowledge of the applications to find the perfect laser solution.  This close partnership between suppliers and end-users allows us to provide informed consultation about both laser specifications and their app… Read More

LIDAR Becoming the Future of Bathymetry

Bathymetry is the study of the underwater depth in oceans, lakes, or seas and is used to generate detailed topographical maps of bodies of water around the world.  While there are several different methods of underwater mapping including sonar, in recent years LIDAR-based bathymetry techniques has become more and more popular.   One of the primary advantages of LIDAR is that it can be performed by a laser mounted on aircraft or drones, enabling aerial surveillance of shallow waters and coastal regions where larger watercraft are not able… Read More

Introduction Multi-photon Microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy is deployed widely in biological sciences for identifying the spatial distribution of molecules of interest in complex heterogeneous samples, including living cells.  Over the past 100 years, this method has been heavily dependent on the use of fluorescent tags which have uniquely engineered excitation and absorption spectra, and are functionalized to bond with particular molecules of interest.  Not only do these tags increase the technique’s specificity, but they also reduce photochemical degradation of the sample by moving from ultra-violet to visible excitation wa… Read More

Specifications for Target Imaging

Last year we published a blog post on the subject of combining active imaging and night vision by using time-of-flight (TOF) gated lidar to produce three-dimensional images of a target without the need for visible light.  We will revisit this topic, but instead, focus our attention on the importance of the laser specifications itself as opposed to the underlying principles of the me… Read More

How Can RPMC Provide the Right Custom Laser Solution?

For over 30 years, the laser diode experts at RPMC Lasers have facilitated successful collaborations between customers and suppliers. Our team prides itself on the knowledge and experience acquired in the industry and our dedication to providing system integrators with customized laser packaging solutions. Over the years, we have worked in conjunction with many engineers and designers to develop novel laser diode solutions, helping to ensure the success of their… Read More

Laser Diode Fundamentals: Diode Gain Threshold

For any laser to function, there must be more gain inside the laser cavity than loss, and the point at which the laser gain is just large enough to overcome the cavity loss enabling lasing is called gain threshold.  While simple, in theory, this concept of gain threshold can be particularly challenging to understand, particularly when it comes to diode lasers.  Therefore, as part of our ongoing blog series expanding on the topics covered in our Lasers 101 section, we are going to explore the concept of laser diode gain threshold in this … Read More

Investment in the Future – Integrated Optics

RPMC Lasers, has partnered with Integrated Optics, for several years now, to provide our customers with high-quality compact diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) and diode laser modules.   In order to meet growing production demands, Integrated Optics recently made a 400,000 Euro (~450,000 USD) investment to update and expand their Industry 4.0-ready manufacturing capabilities.  Integrated Optics, founded in 2012 by Jonas Jonuška and Evaldas Pabrėža, is currently collaborating with the European Union to help fund this expansion and increase their current… Read More

FAQ #1 – Can I operate multiple laser diodes from the same power supply?

Here at RPMC Lasers, we have over 20 years of experience helping the photonics community with their solid-state laser needs.  Over this time, we have answered a wide range of questions from both end users and system integrators, ranging from application support to laser fundamentals.  Many of the questions we have received over the years have served to influence the topics you have read about on our blog, but for the first time, we are starting a monthly blog series dedicated to frequently asked questions (FAQs) e… Read More

Machine Vision For Inspection

Machine vision is defined as the substitution of the human visual senses and decision-making ability, by image acquisition and computer analysis to perform an inspection task.   This process is most commonly utilized as an active imaging technology to automate inspection and analysis for process control and robot guidance in industrial applications.  As automation has become more and more prevalent in the manufacturing sector, machine vision technology has rapidly grown into one of the largest markets for laser diodes around th… Read More

Laser Diode Fundamentals – Fiber Coupling 2

In the last blog post of our laser diode fundamentals series, we discussed the basics of fiber optics concentrating on two key parameters; core diameter and numerical aperture. In this blog post, we are going to turn the discussion to fiber coupling techniques conventionally used in laser diode packaging including butt coupling, ball lens coupling, and intermediate co… Read More

Micromake Machining Laser

Last fall, we published a blog titled “Micromachining Lasers for Anti-Counterfeiting,” where we explored how laser micromachining can be used to embed microscopic two-dimensional identification codes directly onto the item of interest.   In addition to discussing the fundamentals of micromachining in that blog, we highlighted the MicroMake system from Bright Solutions, including how its short pulse width and high pulse repetition rate facilitate ablation to produce ultra-high-resolution machining… Read More

The Basics of Microchip Laser Harmonics

Microchip lasers have been around since 1989 when they were first produced at MIT’s Lincoln Labs, but it wasn’t until recently that they have become commonplace in the commercial laser market.  As such, they are still somewhat misunderstood. In this blog, we are going to take some time and explain their functionality and why they are so uniquely suited as compact pulsed laser sources at a wide variety of laser wa… Read More

ER: Glass Lasers for LIBS in Harsh Environments

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is one of the most popular laser based atomic spectroscopy techniques on the market today.  Nowadays, LIBS is rapidly becoming an indispensable tool for elemental analysis and is generally viewed as a complementary technique to other elemental methods such as mass spectrometry.  LIBS has been deployed in a wide range of industrial and scientific applications including on the surface of Mars, where over 200,000 LIBS spectra have been collected aboard of the Mars Science Laboratory Rover … Read More

Flow Cytometry Review

Flow cytometry is a method for simultaneously analyzing multiple physical properties of an individual cell as it flows through a beam of light in a fluid stream, including the cells size and fluorescence.   In practice, flow cytometry is essentially a combination of particle counting and fluorescence spectroscopy.  Since we have written about both of these subjects in depth in the past, this blog will not spend very much time on the fundamentals of these two technologies instead you are recommended to read our previous blog post on Optical Particle Counting and our white paper on  Multi-Color Flu… Read More

Laser Diode Bar Stress

In this application note, we plan to combine these two topics and look at one of the key factors that affects laser diode bar lifetime – stress and strains.  Despite the extreme power output of laser diode bars and stacks, which can exceed 2 kilowatts of power in quasi continuous wave (QCW) operation, the facet coating technology has improved to the point where it can handle intensities well over 20MW/cm2 making catastrophic optical damage (COD) no longer a limiti… Read More

Laser Diode Fundamentals: Single Longitudinal Mode Diodes

In the last installment of our Laser Diode Fundamentals series, we took a deep dive into the underlying physical properties behind the longitudinal mode structure of laser diodes.  In that blog post, we explained the advantages and disadvantages to both multi-longitudinal mode and single longitudinal mode diode lasers.  We are going to expand on what we learned about single longitudinal mode diodes lasers and take a look at a wide range of stabilization techniques which are used to ensure that a laser maintains single mode performance during its … Read More

Er-YAG 2.94 Micron

Flashlamp pumped pulsed Er:YAG lasers have been widely utilized in dermatology and dentistry as an alternative to CO2 lasers, but historically continuous wave (CW) and quasi-continuous wave (QCW) Er:YAG lasers were problematic due to their unique energy level decay times.   Our friends over at Sheaumann Laser have worked hard over the years to figure out a methodology for overcoming these issues and have since developed a diode-pumped 2.94 micron Er:YAG lasers known as the MirPac series, with a maximum output power of … Read More