What is a Laser Diode and What Type of Tools Make Use of it?

The first diode laser was developed in 1962. Since that time, diode modules have been used for a variety of purposes that benefit all of us in some way or another. Some examples of the use of the diode laser include medical uses (laser eye surgery), scientific uses (measuring great distances), and industrial uses (measuring, cutting). What is a laser diode and what type of tools make use of it?

The diode is a combination of two different materials. In some cases, the semiconductor is going to have current flowing as electrons (n-type) or the current is going to be in the form of holes, which are positively charged and match with the missing electrons (p-type). The diode itself is one layer stacked on top of another with the p-n boundary being defined in the middle. (Source: http://physics.aps.org/story/v26/st3)

Among the many different tools that make use of the laser is the laser cutter. This type of technology is used for the cutting of a number of different types of materials. For quite some time, laser cutters were used in an industrial setting but today, they are also being used by small businesses, schools and even hobbyists (Source: laser cutting by Coherent).

The laser cutter directs the beam of the laser through the use of a computer to the material that is being worked. It may “cut” the material in a number of different ways. The way it cuts is often determined by the type of material that is being worked. In some cases, it will be cut by being burned or through a melting process but the material may also be vaporized by the laser. The advantages to using a laser cutter over standard tools include the speed with which items can be cut and the accuracy of the cut. In addition, laser cutters are known for producing edges that have a high quality finish.

Lasers may be used in an industrial setting for various purposes. These may include measuring, machining and scanning. The laser cutter is perhaps the more common type of laser tool that is used and will continue to be a part of many industries because of the benefits that they provide.

 

About the author:
Mark Williams is the author of this article about laser diode modules. He is an engineer and an expert in laser technology. He has gathered resources from Coherent, a laser manufacturing company, to write this blog. For more information about lasers visit this website,www.coherent.com. Feel free to connect with him via Google+ for questions.