Laser Technology Jargon Buster

We know that the language of laser technology can seem a little confusing at first. Here's a handy jargon buster to help you decipher it like a pro:

Ablation

The removal of solid material using a laser beam.

Amplitude Stability

The variation of laser amplitude or output power over time.

Annealing

The laser heats the surface to change the colour of the material, depending on the temperature of the laser.

Beam Dimensions

The cross-sectional size of the beam.

Beam Profile

The measurement of a laser beam's energy output and distribution.

Bitmap

A graphic created from rows of different coloured pixels that together form an image.

Co2

A laser which uses a small tube filled with gas. Electricity is put through these tubes and reflected onto mirrors to produce a laser beam.

Continuous Wave

The output of a laser that is operated in a continuous (pulse duration >0.25s) rather than a pulsed mode.

Diode

A light emitting diode with an optical cavity to amplify light.

DPSS

Diode-pumped Solid-state - a laser made by pumping a solid gain medium (e.g., a ruby) with a laser diode.

DXF

Drawing Interchange Format - a CAD file which is used to share drawing data between CAD programs.

Engraving

The laser removes material to create deep surface marks.

Etching

The laser melts the micro surface to created raised marks.

Excimer Laser

Uses a gas mixture as the gain medium.

Fiber

A laser which uses an optical fiber to amplify and channel light through an optical lens to produce a laser beam.

Focal Length

The distance from the centre of the lens to the point at which an image of a distant object is formed.

Gain Medium

The source of optical gain within a laser.

Hatch

An engraving technique which simulates a solid effect using a series of parallel lines to 'fill in' the area.

Irradiance

The amount of power per unit area.

JPEG

An image type where the degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a trade-off between size and quality.

JSF Font

Single line font defined by N-Lase Designer.

LASER

Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

Marking

A group of methods for labelling materials and surfaces with lasers.

MOPA

A Master Oscillator Power Amplifier - a laser with a fiber amplifier to boost the output power.

PNG

Portable Network Graphics - a raster-graphics file format that supports lossless data compression.

Pulse Duration

The duration of a laser pulse; usually measured as the time interval between the half-power points on the leading and trailing edges of the pulse.

Pulsed Laser

A laser that delivers its energy in the form of a single pulse or a train of pulses (pulse duration <0.25s).

Rotary

A device with 360 rotation which allows a laser to mark objects with a curved surface.

Source

Adds energy to the laser system such as a flash lamp or electrical current.

UV

A laser which passes a standard wavelength laser through crystals to reduce ­the wavelength to produce a UV laser beam.

Vector

Vector files are images that are built by mathematical formulas that establish points on a grid, as opposed to pixels.

Watt (W)

The basic unit of power (J/s).

Wavelength

The distance between two successive points on a periodic wave that have the same phase

Workspace

The rectangle or circular area in the main interface window. Any object drawn in this area will be marked.

Ablation

The removal of solid material using a laser beam.