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Applied Optics

Applied Optics

APPLICATIONS-CENTERED RESEARCH IN OPTICS

  • Vol. 39, Iss. 33 — Nov. 20, 2000
  • pp: 6136–6143

Preparation of Fiber Optics for the Delivery of High-Energy High-Beam-Quality Nd:YAG Laser Pulses

Andreas Kuhn, Paul French, Duncan P. Hand, Ian J. Blewett, Mark Richmond, and Julian D. C. Jones  »View Author Affiliations


Applied Optics, Vol. 39, Issue 33, pp. 6136-6143 (2000)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.39.006136


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Abstract

Recent improvements in design have made it possible to build Nd:YAG lasers with both high pulse energy and high beam quality. These lasers are particularly suited for percussion drilling of holes of as much as 1-mm diameter thick (a few millimeters) metal parts. An example application is the production of cooling holes in aeroengine components for which 1-ms duration, 30-J energy laser pulses produce holes of sufficient quality much more efficiently than with a laser trepanning process. Fiber optic delivery of the laser beam would be advantageous, particularly when one is processing complex three-dimensional structures. However, lasers for percussion drilling are available only with conventional bulk-optic beam delivery because of laser-induced damage problems with the small-diameter (approximately 200–400-μm) fibers that would be required for preserving necessary beam quality. We report measurements of beam degradation in step-index optical fibers with an input beam quality corresponding to an M2 of 22. We then show that the laser-induced damage threshold of 400-μm core-diameter optical fibers can be increased significantly by a CO2 laser treatment step following the mechanical polishing routine. This increase in laser-induced damage threshold is sufficient to propagate 25-J, 1-ms laser pulses with a 400-μm core-diameter optical fiber and an output M2 of 31.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.2270) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber characterization
(060.2300) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber measurements
(060.2310) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics
(060.2400) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber properties
(140.3390) Lasers and laser optics : Laser materials processing
(140.3530) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, neodymium

Citation
Andreas Kuhn, Paul French, Duncan P. Hand, Ian J. Blewett, Mark Richmond, and Julian D. C. Jones, "Preparation of Fiber Optics for the Delivery of High-Energy High-Beam-Quality Nd:YAG Laser Pulses," Appl. Opt. 39, 6136-6143 (2000)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-39-33-6136

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