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What is the future of semiconductor lasers?
time:2019-07-22 10:51Click:
China's laser industry shows a strong clustering in the geographical distribution. The Pearl River Delta region represented by Shenzhen mainly uses medium and small power laser processing equipment, while the Central China region represented by Wuhan Optical Valley is more comprehensive on the product line, covering large, medium and small power equipment. In addition to these two largest industrial agglomeration areas, the Yangtze River Delta, Bohai Rim and the emerging Northeast Industrial Zone have formed a relatively complete laser industrial belt.The demand for laser processing equipment brought about by industrial upgrading continues to increase.

What is the future of semiconductor lasers?

With the transformation and upgrading of manufacturing industry to high-end and intelligent, the market of laser equipment processing and application is expanding. Moore, one of the founders of Moore's Law, predicted in 1965 that semiconductors would develop at a high speed, and that the Electronics Society would be widely popularized and penetrated into a wide range of applications. Looking back half a century later, this prediction has been perfectly confirmed. Although the market potential of fiber laser is great, semiconductor lasers are still the most widely used in the market.
 
Semiconductor lasers are commonly called laser diodes, because they use semiconductor materials as working materials, so they are called semiconductor lasers. Semiconductor lasers usually use gallium arsenide, cadmium sulfide, indium phosphide and other working substances, which can be used as pumping source for fiber laser and solid laser, and can also directly output laser as light source.
 
The development of semiconductor lasers began in the 1960s, and now it has been widely used in all walks of life. With the advantages of compact structure, good beam quality, long life and stable performance, it has made great progress in communication, material processing and manufacturing, military, medical and other fields. It is precisely because the laser equipment has a wide range of applications, involving many industries, so the market of semiconductor lasers is very large. According to the data of OFweek industry research, the market size of semiconductor lasers in 2017 is as high as 5.31 billion US dollars, the growth rate is as high as 15% year-on-year, occupying 40% of the total market share of lasers, which is the absolute dominant position.
 
Global Semiconductor Laser Market Scale and Growth Rate in 2012-2017 (US$)

What is the future of semiconductor lasers?
 
Extension of Technology Development and Application
 
With the further development of semiconductor technology, the market demand is constantly changing. The application of semiconductor lasers is also changing. From the initial low-power equipment to the current high-power equipment, semiconductor lasers have also shifted from some light processing areas to heavy processing areas.
 
As early as the 1980s, semiconductor lasers were only used in optical storage and some niche applications. At that time, optical storage was the first large-scale application in the semiconductor laser industry. The continuous innovation of semiconductor laser technology has promoted the development of optical storage technology such as digital multi-function disc (DVD) and blue-ray disc (BD). By the 1990s, optical networks had become the main battlefield of semiconductor lasers. Then in the 1990s, semiconductor lasers became the key processing and manufacturing equipment of communication networks.
 
At present, the most important application of semiconductor lasers is as pumping source of fiber lasers and solid-state lasers. When semiconductor lasers are used as pumping sources of fiber lasers, the structure of pumping system can be simplified fundamentally and the level of pumping power can be improved by increasing the unit power. With the increasing demand for output power of fiber laser and solid-state laser, the power of semiconductor pumping source is also put forward higher requirements.
 
Due to the limitation of beam quality, it is difficult for traditional semiconductor lasers to be directly used in metal cutting. In recent years, with the improvement of semiconductor coupling technology and the grad
ual maturity of new beam combining technology, some semiconductor lasers with the output of optical fibers above kilowatt level can also meet the requirements of beam quality for cutting. In addition, due to the diversity of the wavelength of semiconductor lasers, the wavelength of short-wavelength semiconductor lasers is very close to the maximum wavelength absorption of aluminum. Therefore, in the automotive industry, high power semiconductor lasers are very suitable for welding aluminum automobile body. At present, semiconductor lasers with output power from 2KW to 6KW have been widely used in automotive industry.
 
In the field of direct material processing, the beam quality of semiconductor lasers is difficult to surpass that of fiber lasers. However, semiconductor lasers are very suitable for thin plate welding and cutting applications. The development of high power semiconductor lasers makes many important applications possible. These lasers have replaced many traditional technologies and brought us many new products.
 
In general, due to the continuous development of technology, the application fields of semiconductor lasers are constantly changing, and these changes are still taking place. In general, semiconductor lasers are developing towards shorter emission wavelength and higher emission power to meet the current market demand.

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