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Emerging Applications in Laser Photonics

Researchers in the field of materials and laser research continue to push their boundaries searching for new technology and developing new applications. In this article, we will review three emerging applications and the lasers being used in those areas.

Materials Science Using LIBS & Laser Ablation

The use of pulsed laser systems in materials science is not new; however, recent advancements in this technology have paved the way for fast-moving smaller scale and larger scope projects. Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is a key technology that has seen major growth in this sector within the past few years. One application, rapid chemical analysis, uses a short laser pulse to create a high-temperature plasma on the surface of a sample, which emits light with discrete spectral peaks that can be analyzed for chemical composition. More About LIBS Here.

Laser ablation, the process by which a laser is used to remove material from a solid, also plays a role in material science applications. For example, laser ablation spark induced breakdown spectroscopy (LA-SIBS) enables sample prep-free measurement, fast measurement (typically in seconds), and broad element coverage.

In one recent spectroscopy study, researchers combined high-resolution laser spectroscopy and nuclear decay spectroscopy for the study of low lying states. The Quantum Composers Jewel Laser, a Nd:YAG DPSS laser is used in this type of research for its small size and customizability.

Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV)

The PIV optical measuring technique is frequently used in education and research where the velocity field of an entire region within the flow is measured simultaneously. Light scattering particles are added to the flow, while a laser beam is formed into a light sheet illuminating the particles being added. PIV provides a quantitative flow field map that gives a physical explanation of the flow behavior being studied. Learn more about PIV here.

A team at the German Aerospace Center released PIV Research that demonstrated new techniques for advanced synchronization in complex flow field investigations utilizing pulsed DPSS lasers. This new method can be achieved using an Nd:YAG laser like the Quantum Composers Jewel Series and other pulsed ultra-compact solid-state lasers.

Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR)

LIDAR is a remote sensing method that uses illumination technology to identify a target and a complex network of sensors to measure distances. In most LIDAR applications, pulsed lasers are used due to their timing resolution and high power. LIDAR has applications in travel, geology, seismology, remote sensing, and atmospheric physics. Learn more about lasers and pulse generators for LIDAR applications.

There is vast opportunity for LIDAR beyond autonomous vehicles. If you’re interested in reading more on LIDAR, check out these exciting real-world examples at the Cherenkov Telescope Array and in Cloud Measurement. Quantum Composers offers a diverse family of lasers, laser systems, and modules, including DPSS, Nd:YAG, and pulsed lasers. Contact us to discuss the current collections that we offer or to have something custom-designed to meet your specific application or project.