Femtosecond Lasers

What is a Femtosecond Laser?

A Femtosecond laser (fs laser or fs pulsed laser) is a laser which emits optical pulses with a duration below 1 picosecond.  A femtosecond (fs) is one quadrillionth of a second or 10−15 seconds.  Femtosecond pulses are generated through a process known as mode-locking. Mode-locked lasers utilize phase locking to interfere a large number of lasing modes together in such a way as to cause the generation of ultrafast pulses.

As a result of having such short pulse widths, femtosecond lasers have incredibly high peak powers typically in the MW to GW range. At a given pulse energy, the peak power of the laser increases as the pulse width gets shorter.  Therefore, femtosecond lasers have much higher peak power than longer pulsed picosecond, nanosecond, or millisecond pulsed lasers.  These higher peak powers result in higher removal rates, for example, in a given material due to the fact that more of the total energy is transferred to the material and less is pulled into heating the material.

The high peak powers of these femtosecond lasers, often several MW, creates a breakdown between the electrons and atoms in the material, causing what is known as a “Coulomb explosion”.  A Coulomb explosion is a cold processing alternative to the conventional thermal ablation utilized by longer pulsed lasers. Ablation is a thermal process that relies on local heating, melting, and vaporization of molecules and atoms. Ablation can be detrimental for some laser applications as it typically creates unwanted HAZ, recast and burs, all of which are negative effects of heat, making cold ablation a better option for certain applications.

Pulsed Lasers that produce less than 10 picoseconds pulses (e.g. femtosecond lasers) belong to the category of Ultrafast Lasers or Ultrashort Pulse Lasers, even though they may still be called picosecond lasers.  Ultrafast Lasers are ideal for the non-thermal or cold ablation of any material, including metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, coatings, glass, plastics, diamonds, and PET. Ultrafast lasers can even operate on layered substrates. Cold ablation allows for material to be removed with high precision and without heating the residual matter. Thus, femtosecond fiber lasers will not produce heat affected zones, splatter, or significant recast. Additionally, these lasers will eliminate the need for any post-processing.

In recent years, femtosecond fiber-based lasers have started to replace older, bulkier Ti:Sapphire lasers. Femtosecond laser prices are much lower when compared to the ti sapphire laser price. Total cost of ownership and maintenance time and cost are also lower with air-cooled fiber lasers when compared to water-cooled Ti:Sapphire laser systems. The Alcor laser platform is a great contender for replacing these legacy laser sources. These ultrafast fiber lasers also allow you to place the controller in a rack mount, for example, while positioning the smaller laser head where you need it.

Our Femtosecond Laser Products

RPMC lasers offers a wide range of high quality femtosecond pulsed lasers designed with repetition rates ranging from single shot up to 80 MHz, ultrashort pulse durations from 150 up to 900 femtoseconds, and various pulse energy specifications depending on the configuration.

Our femtosecond lasers are available in 515 nm, 532 nm, 920nm, 1030 nm, 1035 nm, 1064 nm, and 1300 nm wavelengths, with average power up to 30 W available.  We supply diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers, fiber lasers, and DPSS amplifiers in our femtosecond laser category.

At one-tenth the volume, twice the power, and half the cost, our fs Fiber Lasers are perfect replacements for old, outdated Ti:Sapphire lasers. With useful wavelengths like 920, 1040, and 1064nm, you aren’t paying extra for unnecessary wavelength tunability. With a compact, air-cooled, maintenance-free design, and an industry-standard beam height, you’ll see a fast ROI with less downtime and more room to breathe after easily dropping one of these plug-and-play fs Fiber Lasers into your old Ti:Sapphire laser footprint.

Our Femtosecond Laser Experience

RPMC is your Femtosecond Laser Supplier! We have supplied many fiber-based femtosecond laser systems to various researchers, laboratories, and materials science development teams around the country. Often, the researchers we work with don’t have extensive laser experience, and rely on us to help them choose the best laser for their application or project.

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Alcor Series


ALCOR is the most advanced femtosecond fiber laser emitting at 920 nm or 1064 nm, designed explicitly for multiphoton microscopy instrumentation and industrial OEM integration, working with 24/7 operation in an ultra-compact, robust and air-cooled format. Featuring the Alcor 920 4W, with the highest average power commercially available, as well as the XSight and FLeX Fiber external modules, allowing for fine & fast gating and power control, GDD precompensation, and fiber-coupling (FleX Fiber). 520 nm, 780 nm, and 1040 nm versions also available.

Altair Series

Altair: Femtosecond Laser

The ALTAIR is an ideal solution for biophotonics applications such as multiphoton microscopy where deep excitation of red-shifted indicators such as RCaMP, dtTomato, and MCherry is required.  Providing <160fs pulses, average power up to 20W and peak power up to 1.5MW at 1µm, the ALTAIR is the preferred solution for both OEM and researchers in the microscopy and lifesciences fields.  The fiber-based design ensures robust and reliable 24/7 operation while providing supreme pulse quality from a user friendly, ultra compact air-cooled package.

Diadem Series


DIADEM Series is a compact, air-cooled, high energy ultrafast laser for advanced micro-machining applications that require short femtosecond pulse widths. The Diadem is available with up to 40µJ of pulse energy, 30W of average power, and operation up to 1MHz (standard), with pulses below <400 fs and an M² < 1.2. This laser has been specifically designed for demanding medical implantable device and electronics manufacturing as well as high peak power optogenetics applications.