For several years NCLR is working on a 1 kW, 1 kHz XeCl laser. Improvement of the beam quality at high power levels enabled us to do large-scale application experiments and industrial applications become feasible. The base for the good beam quality is a homogeneous discharge. It starts with a smooth gas flow from a classical flow loop. The combination of X-ray pre-ionization and the sophisticated spiker-sustainer circuit guarantees a stable discharge with a long optical pulse (250 ns). Due to the gentle discharge only weak shock waves are formed that are damped within 800 microseconds. An unstable resonator gives a nearly diffraction limited beam. We are now finding a market for this laser. Hole drilling is one of the most promising applications. We can drill holes of 10 to 100 micrometer diameter at a very fast production rate of up to 1000 holes per second. The holes can be drilled in many different materials: metals like aluminum, titanium, steel and nickel alloys, but also plastics, ceramics, glass and composites. The good results encouraged us to design a commercial version of the laser.
|Title of host publication||Advanced High-Power Lasers|
|Place of Publication||Bellingham, WA, USA|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2000|
|Name||Proceedings of SPIE|