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.