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Multimode Fibers Transport High-Powered Laser Beams

The delivery of high-power laser beams in scientific, military, and industrial/ commercial applications typically requires bulky, inconvenient, and often heavy articulated arms. A simpler and more efficient approach is to use multimode, step-index optical fibers. Some new multimode fibers feature an air-gap design, where the fiber extends into free space. This feature provides an epoxyfree region in which thermal energy can be safely dissipated without burning the surrounding materiala common cause of failure in standard connectors. To maximize power handling and beam uniformity, fiber end surfaces are cleaved and then laser-polished to eliminate contaminants, scratches, chips, and pits. Standard core diameters of 100, 200, 300, 400, 600, 1000, and 1500 m are available with non-standard diameters available upon request. A highly conductive copper ferrule in the nose connector permits any heat to be conducted directly to the cooling fins. In addition, an anodized aluminum heatsink pulls heat from the fiber. In doing so, it allows for more rugged handling, prevents bending of the fiber, and maintains beam quality.

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