Lasers have been used in a growing number of industrial applications for decades. While a CO2 laser was the standard for a long time, the need for free space optics and the limited spectral range were significant drawbacks that gave rise to other laser types, such as diode and fiber lasers.
The prime advantage of these lasers is their compactness and their availability of different wavelengths. Contrary to CO2 lasers, light of a shorter wavelength can be delivered to the working area using optical fused silica fibers. The focusing optics are made of fused silica as well.
Fused silica is the material of choice due to its low absorption (low loss) and high laser damage threshold enabling new applications like surface cleaning, structuring or even 3D printing. Heraeus offers a wide range of products tailored to the different applications.