Laser Sources differ from traditional illumination sources because they produce coherent light. The illumination spectrum is often narrow band with line widths as narrow as tens of megahertz and divergence as low as fractions of milliradians. Lasers are either utilized in free space, steered with traditional optics, or the source is coupled into a fiber. In a fiber coupled orientation, the emitting fiber tip is mounted at the location of beam delivery, reducing the need for steering optics. When a laser is fiber coupled, a cone of light is produced instead of a collimated beam.
Edmund Optics offers lasers with a range of gain mediums including semiconductor, optically pumped semiconductor, solid state, and gas. The semiconductor offering supports applications from general alignment to sophisticated machine vision with the ability to produce uniform non-Gaussian lines. Optically pumped semiconductor lasers are ideal for life science and microscopy applications demanding the highest beam quality, power, and wavelength stability, along with predictable M2 values. Gas lasers are available in common gain mediums including HeNe, Argon Ion, and CO2. HeNe lasers offer superior coherence length making them ideal for metrology and interferometry applications. Argon Ion lasers are often used in life science applications because of their unique, lower wavelength, spectral lines. CO2 lasers feature high powers with options as high as 40W making them perfectly suited for marking and engraving. Edmund Optics also offers components required for beam combining applications.