How To Select A CW Laser:
Welcome to RPMC’s ‘How To Select A Continuous Wavelength (CW) Laser’ page. At RPMC, we have a large selection of CW Lasers and Modules, and we are here to help you select the best one for your application.
|CW Lasers and Modules are defined as:
This makes our CW Lasers and Modules some of the easiest lasers to define and use. Important things to note when selecting a laser are; what wavelength/color is needed, how much power is required, do you need single-mode vs multimode, is there a special need for narrow linewidth, or broadband, and what are your beam delivery requirements – free-space, or fiber-coupled output/delivery.
After reading this page, you should have a better understanding on how to select the best CW Laser for your specific needs. Let’s get started!
If you would like some assistance:
There are many types of CW Lasers and Modules to choose from including Laser Diode Modules, DPSS Lasers, Gas Lasers, Fiber Lasers, and Wavelength Combiners. These “types” define the medium used to create the laser. In many cases, when selecting a CW Laser, the type of laser is primarily used to get the various wavelengths of interest. For example, there are no yellow laser diodes. Therefore, if you need a 561nm laser, the options are either DPSS Laser, or Gas Laser. If you want more information about the various types of lasers, click on the links below to read more about each type.
One of the main specifications in defining a CW Laser for your application is the wavelength, or color needed. We offer Laser Modules from the Ultraviolet, through the visible spectrums, and into the IR spectrum. The wavelength is usually defined by the application.
Ultraviolet or UV Lasers:
UV CW Lasers offer extremely high photon energy that cannot be accomplished by visible and infrared lasers. We offer UV Lasers at 349nm – DPSS Lasers and 375nm – Laser Diodes.
Violet or Purple CW Lasers: primarily 405nm Laser Diode Modules.
Blue CW Lasers are available in either Laser Diode Modules or Gas Lasers.
Green CW Lasers are one of the most common wavelengths on the market, because lasers in the green spectrum are widely available from Laser Diodes, frequency-doubled DPSS Lasers, and Gas Lasers.
Yellow CW Lasers are one of the most difficult visible lasers to get, since there are no diode lasers available, but there are Yellow DPSS Lasers and Yellow Gas Lasers available.
Red CW Lasers are one of the most popular colors in the visible wavelength spectrum, because Laser Diodes are so widely available, but so are Red DPSS Lasers and Red Gas Lasers.
IR CW Lasers include Near Infrared (NIR), Short Wavelength Infrared (SWIR), Mid-Wavelength Infrared (MWIR), and Long-Wavelength Infrared (LWIR) Lasers. IR Lasers are perhaps the most diverse category of Solid-State Lasers; with IR Laser Diodes, Diode-Pumped Solid-State (DPSS) Lasers, Flashlamp Pumped Solid-State Lasers, and Fiber Lasers, all emitting in the NIR Laser spectrum. SWIR Lasers, MWIR Lasers, and LWIR Lasers are ideal for many applications in the Defense/Military markets and play an important role in telecom applications. To see all of the various IR Laser products we offer, check out these links:
The output power from the laser of module is potentially one of the most important specifications when defining the laser. You need enough power for the application, but over specifying the output power can needlessly increase costs of the laser. Although, CW Lasers can usually be operated lower than the rated power without a change in performance.
Other parameters that need to be defined when selecting a CW Laser include:
Single-Mode Lasers typically have higher beam quality and lower output power, and they are useful for applications like Raman Spectroscopy, Confocal Microscopy, and Interferometry. Multimode Lasers typically have higher output power and lower beam quality, and they are useful for applications like Fiber Laser Pumping, Laser Cladding, and Machine Vision.
Beam output options include Free-Space (including Line Modules) and various Fiber-Coupled output options, including SM Fiber, MM Fiber, and PM Fiber. Essentially, the choice between Free-Space and Fiber-Coupled beam delivery comes down to what your beam delivery requirements are (how you plan to deliver the beam from the laser to the target/workpiece).
Narrow Linewidth Lasers have a tightly controlled, narrow optical spectrum, allowing for a very precise, stabilized wavelength output, and they are useful for applications like Spectroscopy, Holography, and Interferometry. Broadband Lasers emit a very broad optical spectrum (10s or 100s of nanometers wide), and they are useful for various Telecom, Optical Coherence Tomography, and other applications.
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