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Types and Introduction of Fiber Lasers

Fiber lasers can be divided into continuous wave (CW), quasi-continuous wave (QCW), nanosecond pulse, ultrafast picosecond or femtosecond pulse and other light wave modes. CW lasers provide stable output within their rated maximum output power and can be modulated up to 50 kHz depending on output power, but modulation does not increase their peak power. Continuous wave lasers have applications in many fields, including metal cutting and welding, but also for soldering, 3D printing, plating and heat treatment. The long pulses generated by 10 QCW lasers can increase pulse energy and peak output power by a factor of 10, with long pulse durations ranging from 10 µs to 100,000 µs. For example, a QCW laser with an average power of 300W has a peak power of 3kW and a pulse energy of 30J. QCW lasers are primarily used for welding, drilling, and special cutting operations, such as cutting highly reflective metals or other materials. Standard QCW models have a peak power range of 1kW to 20kW, and operating costs are much lower than other competing laser technologies that can produce the same output. Nanosecond pulsed Q-switched fiber lasers can provide an average output power range of 10 W to 2 kW. Pulse duration can be fixed or adjustable (pre-programmed user selectable) in the range 1ns-1000ns. Typical laser pulse energies are in the 10W-300W range, which is close to the single-mode beam quality used for microprocessing, down to about 1 mJ. Depending on the model, these lasers can be modulated from kilohertz to megahertz. The use of pulsed lasers with higher average powers for high-speed surface treatment, with pulse energies up to 100 mJ, allows larger treatment areas. Ultrafast picosecond and femtosecond fiber lasers with pulse durations from 200fs to multiple picoseconds and average powers of 10W-200W can be used in a variety of microprocessing applications, metallic and non-metallic.
The active laser core of a fiber laser can be doped with one or more active atoms to produce a standard output in several spectral ranges.

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