As device precision increases and prices become more affordable, laser power technology is becoming increasingly prevalent. The technology is typically employed for cutting, drilling, and welding in the aerospace, medical, and microelectronics industries. With a variety of laser types including CO2, nd:YAG, Fiber, and Excimer, it is now possible to remove thin films and drill holes on a microscopic scale in ways that were, until now, impossible.
New Developments Impact Industry Growth
Researchers at MIT and Sandia National Laboratories are developing compact and low-power terahertz lasers. Terahertz radiation has shown promise in applications for security and medical diagnostics with the use of tighter beams. Researchers have already developed a low-power device comprised of an array of 37 micro-fabricated lasers concentrated on a single chip, where the emitted radiation is phase-locked.
The defense and aerospace industries are also interested in developing advanced laser technology; researchers are currently working on a method to combine lasers into a coherent beam. By using these extremely powerful lasers, aerospace teams could power a spacecraft out of earth’s orbit into space at a tenth the speed of light — or even faster. With laser-powered interstellar travel, probes would reach planets in only a few decades, rather than in hundreds of thousands of years.
Thanks to advances in laser power technology, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) caught the gravitational waves caused by the recent merging of two black holes. A monumental observation, this was the first gravitational wave to be directly detected by scientists. To capture the waves, researchers increased the laser power by a factor of 75 to make the observational apparatus four times more sensitive.
Offering enhanced capabilities at reduced costs, laser system technology is quickly growing in popularity and expanding in use. Lasers are now required for certain weaponry in military applications, utilized in macro- and micro- machining for industrial applications, and substituted for non-laser technologies in medical procedures. New applications for the advancing technology are being developed and optimized every day.
At Laserage, we recognize the importance of these new developments. As laser technology expands, we provide our customers with the resources they need to manufacture complex components and assemblies by making available and selecting the best laser systems and services for their projects. To learn more about selecting the right laser technology contract manufacturer to partner with on your job, check out our Quality Standards Checklist.