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what are fibre lasers

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What Are Fibre Lasers?
1st September 2020

Fibre lasers are seen as the latest addition to the laser market, available in addition to the two other common types: gas and crystal lasers. The critical difference is that the fibre laser features an optical fibre with the addition of rare-earth elements. This could be erbium, ytterbium, neodymium, thulium, holmium, dysprosium, or praseodymium. Typically, the most common rare-earth element added to the fibre is erbium, in a process called “doping”.

Erbium is often used because of its efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The laser can use a relatively inexpensive pump source of 980nm but still produce a high energy laser beam of 1550nm thanks to the properties of Erbium. In addition to the doping process, a section of striped glass, called the Fibre Brigg Gating, is added to the laser. This mirror effect when the laser refracts through the glass causes the laser to bounce around inside. Every time the laser passes the core of the fibre it causes more and more light to be absorbed, increasing the strength of the laser.


Why are fibre lasers considered the best modern laser?

Here at CTR Lasers, there are a few key factors concerning lasers that we understand are important to the customer. Efficiency, stability, and cost-effectiveness. While the specific details about fibre lasers are important, we also want to share with you why fibre lasers are now considered top-of-the-range when it comes to the majority of laser applications.



Laser tech has come a long way in the last decade. Typically, lasers are quite susceptible to being handled roughly, bashed about, and moved. Too much movement and the entire alignment of the laser can become misaligned – an expensive repair job for a specialist. Fibre lasers contain the entire laser within the fibre, and the laser is already generated inside the fibre. This means sensitive optics and alignment aren’t an issue.


Efficiency and high quality

Fibre lasers also deliver incredibly powerful and high-quality laser beams that can be refined to pinpoint precision. The entire laser beam is contained within the core of the fibre meaning the laser beam is very straight and easy to configure. This is perfect for typical laser applications, including laser cutting and etching. The latest lasers can reach power levels of over 6kW, an intense power that is more than capable of slicing through metals of varying thicknesses.


Cost-effectiveness and maintenance

One issue with older lasers is the intense heat generated during use. Extended periods of usage can cause older lasers to break, another expensive overhead. Fibre lasers do get hot, but they’re also incredibly simple to cool down, and have built-in properties that prevent extensive overheating. Fibre lasers are highly energy-efficient, meaning less energy becomes heat energy. The power of the laser is evenly distributed along the entire length of fibre, meaning no one area of the fibre gets too hot.