What is MOPA?
A Master Oscillator Power Amplifier (MOPA) is an architecture used in high-performance laser systems with two main parts: The first part is the Master Oscillator which generates a “seed” signal with specific characteristics such as wavelength, linewidth, and pulse duration, and a second part, the Power Amplifier, which significantly boosts the output power of this seed signal while maintaining the original qualities of the seed signal generated in the oscillator.
The Master Oscillator Power Amplifier (MOPA) architecture stands out as a key innovator, revolutionizing industries from advanced material processing to medical imaging and telecommunications.
Separating the generation of a seed pulse and its amplification to high power levels helps to address critical challenges such as maintaining pulse quality at high power or energy levels, or ensuring spectral purity, required by trends towards greater productivity, precision, and versatility in laser applications.
Master Oscillator (MO)
The master oscillator is the heart of the MOPA system. It generates a low-power seed signal that is tailored to achieve the performance of the MOPA system required by the application. Depending on the application the characteristics of the "seed" signal are optimized for specific wavelengths, linewidths, or pulse durations.
Power Amplifier (PA)
The power amplifier boosts the seed signal to high power and energy levels to meet the demands of applications such as throughput or material removal rates. There are several design options for the power amplifier stage to meet the widely varying demands of applications in industrial, scientific, or medical applications. For instance, bulk amplifiers are well suited to generate high-energy pulses. While fiber-based amplifiers are limited in energy they are well suited to generate high power levels. It is common to combine multiple amplifier stages to reach the required performance.
High Power and Energy levels: Laser powers and energy levels can be scaled over several orders of magnitude by selecting and combining the appropriate power amplifier stages.
Superb Beam Quality: The oscillators pristine beam quality is maintained in the amplifier stage enabling excellent surface quality and clean cuts, precise welds, accurate measurements, and pristine images.
Spectral Purity: The amplified laser maintains the MO's narrow linewidth and stable wavelength, crucial for applications like spectroscopy and optical communications.
Versatility: Tailor different MO and PA combinations to meet specific needs, from ultra-short pulses to continuous wave (CW) operations, tuning of the wavelength, modulation of the power or energy levels, or pulse picking.
Material Processing: Enables precise cutting, drilling, and welding.
LIDAR: Facilitates accurate 3D environmental mapping.
Pumping other Lasers: Enhances other laser systems' capabilities.
Medical Imaging: Generates high-power, ultra-fast pulses for advanced imaging, diagnostics and therapies.
Empowering Innovation with MOPA
MOPA systems, at the forefront of laser technology, offer unparalleled power, quality, and versatility. Integral in driving advancements across various sectors, they provide precision where it matters most.