Ricoh’s new laser is stronger, smaller, and more stable
Ricoh has developed a new laser currently used as a light source for its production printers, which can also be used for applications such as engine ignition.
It is a VCSEL device (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) beneficial because it is easier to manufacture, handle, and install, and is also far more reliable than other laser types because it eliminates malfunctions caused by damage to the surface by the laser beam, even in high output operations.
“We cannot rest on our laurels,” says Frank de Afonseca, national manager of Ricoh SA’s Production Printing Business Group, “because our customers demand robust and reliable equipment so they can meet their own customers’ needs. We have to continually innovate better technologies, particularly those that sit under the hood and which customers should never conceivably come in contact with.”
The new laser is an 808nm-range, high power fibre-coupled semiconductor laser incorporating three primary innovations: high output, compact size, and wavelength stability in variable temperatures.
Ricoh has increased the luminescence efficiency of the VCSEL elements. It has also achieved large-scale integration of the light-emitting channels and together they boost output power of the laser array. The module is now capable of delivering the high energy output needed by the light source of the laser crystal in a laser ignition plug head through improved heat dissipation. This type of plug head has been attracting attention as a means of igniting gas engines for power generation used in cogeneration systems and other equipment (Quasi-continuous-wave (QCW) operation: 200W).
In addition to these technological advantages, Ricoh is able to combine its unique optical technologies to supply laser devices and modules for a wide range of applications.
Ricoh is also looking to expand into applications such as laser processing machines, surface treatment processing such as laser patterning, non-thermal processing and sensing, as well as the development of other applications.