LASER COMPONENTS has introduced a fibre coupler for CO2 lasers, which transmits laser light and a pilot beam. The invisible light of CO2 lasers is often transmitted as a free-space beam with complex and expensive articulating optical arms used to guide the light to the required location. With the FiberKey P it is now possible for the first time to guide CO2 laser light in hollow optical fibres to any point and simultaneously transmit the light of a pilot beam.
Thanks to the pilot beam, the location of the processing beam can be easily adjusted for precise alignment.
Its CO2 fibre coupler is optimised for the wavelength 10.6µm. A ZnSe lens gives a coupling at an efficiency of typically 80%. The FiberKey P is used in combination with a newly developed hollow-core fibre: the pilot beam is transmitted in the fibre cladding, and the invisible laser light is guided in the hollow core. The module is easily integrated with existing lasers using the flange mounting.
The transmission of CO2 laser light in optical fibres can replace complex and expensive beam guides in many cases. This product is currently available for an output power of up to 30W, and is therefore particularly well-suited for medical applications with CO2 lasers, for example to cut tissue when removing tumours or in dermatology. The pilot beam in the FiberKey P will accurately show the point of impact for the laser light, which makes it possible to work precisely.
Competitors who offer solid core optical fibre cables, that transmit light in the mid-IR range, can use a separate fibre for the pilot beam, but the hollow-core fibres have an advantage due to their low attenuation values.