Japanese specialists were able to increase the power of a semiconductor laser by an order of magnitude. Now he is able to cut metal.
What is known
Scientists from the Land of the Rising Sun have developed a technology for scaling a photonic-crystal surface-emitting laser (PCSRL). The power increased from 5 watts to 50 watts, which was enough to cut metal.
Modern PCSEL photonic crystal lasers have a small emitting surface. Its size is up to 1 mm. The structure consists of a semiconductor sheet with gauge holes.
Japanese engineers have spent several years making sure that the light from the large area does not lose focus. In addition, they were able to solve the problem of thermoregulation. To do this, regular oval holes were integrated into the semiconductor sheet.
Ultimately, the researchers created the 3 mm PCSEL laser. Scientists believe that in the future they will be able to develop identical lasers with a size of up to 10 mm and increase the power to 1 MW. But even the current 50 W is enough to use lasers in metalworking, which will reduce the cost of laser machines.