Element Six’s synthetic diamond proven as viable material for sophisticated optical components

Element Six, a developer of synthetic diamond supermaterials and member of the De Beers Group of Companies, today presented new data and announced that its high purity single crystal chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamond material has been proven for use in intracavity cooling of disc lasers and in development of the first ever tunable diamond Raman laser system—forging new ground in enabling a variety of emerging optical components and demonstrating adoption of the material in advanced, commercial applications.

Element Six’s high purity single crystal CVD diamond has the highest thermal conductivity of any material at room temperature (up to 2200 W/mK). Combined with low absorption coefficient at a number of key wavelengths, the material gave the University of Strathclyde the ability to demonstrate the first ever tunable, continuous-wave, diamond raman laser.

Synthetic diamond’s transparency over a broad range of wavelengths, excellent power handling properties and highest Raman gain of any known crystalline material allowed University of Strathclyde engineers to overcome a number of challenges typically associated with other materials. The university used synthetic diamond to pave the way for higher output powers at wavelengths that are challenging to generate with conventional lasers.

Dr. Alan Kemp, senior research fellow, the University of Strathclyde, said of the achievement, “Synthetic diamond removed the thermal conductivity barriers associated with other materials, allowing us to successfully demonstrate higher power Raman lasers. This paves the way for much wider use of this unique and enabling material in solid-state laser engineering.”

Furthermore, photonics and laser manufacturer M Squared Lasers, have leveraged Element Six’s CVD diamond in a patented technique as a key enabler in its Dragonfly semiconductor laser.

“Our goal at M Squared Lasers is to explore, develop and manufacture next-generation lasers and photonic instruments that bring new capabilities, higher reliability and greater ease of use to a diverse range of industrial and scientific applications,” said Dr. David Armstrong, M Squared director of marketing. “With a mission to remain at the forefront of laser and photonics industry, we’re pleased that synthetic diamond has successfully facilitated intracavity cooling of our semiconductor laser technology and feel confident that this is only the start as it relates to synthetic diamond’s potential in our laser technology.”

These two achievements underscore CVD diamond’s valuable role as material for solid-state laser engineering, even in the most demanding intracavity applications.

“Element Six continues to support emerging optical applications, and we recently increased our synthetic diamond CVD manufacturing capacity by 60 percent in order to support continued growth in these new areas,” said Adrian Wilson, head of technologies group at Element Six. “We are exceedingly proud that partners such as M Squared and the University of Strathclyde rely on us to provide the highest quality, high purity single crystal diamond material for advanced laser system research, development and commercialization.”

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