Patents Assigned to nLIGHT, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20220368108
    Abstract: Some embodiments may include a laser diode having a strain-engineered cladding layer for optimized active region strain and improved laser diode performance. In one embodiment, the laser diode may include a semiconductor substrate having a material composition with a first lattice constant; and a plurality of epitaxy layers form on the semiconductor substrate, with plurality of epitaxy layers including a waveguide layer and cladding layers, wherein the waveguide layer includes an active region having a material composition associated with a target optical wavelength, wherein a second lattice constant of the material composition of the active region is different than the first lattice constant; wherein a material composition and/or thickness of an individual cladding layer of the cladding layers is/are arranged to impart a target stress field on the active region to optimize active region strain. Other embodiments may be disclosed and/or claimed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2020
    Publication date: November 17, 2022
    Applicant: NLIGHT, INC.
    Inventors: Zhigang Chen, Manoj Kanskar
  • Patent number: 11498155
    Abstract: A scanned optical beam is divided so as to form a set of scanned subbeams. To compensate for scan errors, a portion of at least one subbeam is detected and a scan error estimated based on the detected portion. A beam scanner is controlled according to the estimated error so as to adjust a propagation direction of some or all of the set of scanned subbeams. The scanned subbeams with adjusted propagation directions are received by an f-theta lens and directed to a work piece. In typical examples, the portion of the at least one subbeam that is detected is obtained from the set of scanned subbeams prior to incidence of the scanned subbeams to the f-theta lens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2022
    Assignee: nLIGHT, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott R. Karlsen, Robert J. Martinsen
  • Patent number: 11495942
    Abstract: A laser diode, comprising a transverse waveguide that is orthogonal to the lateral waveguide comprising an active layer between an n-type waveguide layer and a p-type waveguide layer, wherein the transverse waveguide is bounded by an n-type cladding layer on an n-side and p-type cladding layer on a p-side and a lateral waveguide bounded in a longitudinal direction at a first end by a high reflector (HR) coated facet and at a second end by a partial reflector (PR) coated facet, the lateral waveguide further comprising a buried higher order mode suppression layer (HOMSL) disposed beneath the p-cladding within the lateral waveguide or on one or both sides of the lateral waveguide or a combination thereof, wherein the HOMSL extends in a longitudinal direction from the HR facet a length less than the distance between the HR facet and the PR facet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2022
    Assignee: NLIGHT, INC.
    Inventors: Manoj Kanskar, Zhigang Chen, Nicolas Biekert
  • Publication number: 20220352694
    Abstract: Some embodiments may include a packaged laser diode assembly, comprising: a length of optical fiber having a core and a cladding layer, the length of optical fiber having a first section and a second section, the first section of the length of optical fiber including a tip of an input end of the optical fiber; one or more laser diodes to generate laser light; one or more optical components to direct a beam derived from the laser light into the input end of the length of optical fiber; a clad light stripper on the second section of the length of optical fiber; wherein, in the first section of the length of optical fiber, the cladding layer includes: a light scattering feature at the tip of the input end of the optical fiber and/or a void along a length of the optical fiber.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 10, 2020
    Publication date: November 3, 2022
    Applicant: NLIGHT. INC.
    Inventors: Jiamin ZHANG, Shuang Li, Manoj Kanskar
  • Publication number: 20220344890
    Abstract: Some embodiments may include a packaged laser diode assembly, comprising: a length of optical fiber having a core and a polymer buffer in direct contact with the core, the length of optical fiber having a first section and a second section, the first section of the length of optical fiber including a tip of an input end of the optical fiber, wherein the polymer buffer covers only the second section of the first and second sections; one or more laser diodes to generate laser light; means for directing a beam derived from the laser light into the input end of the length of optical fiber; a light stripper attached to the core in the first section of the length of optical fiber. Other embodiments may be disclosed and/or claimed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2020
    Publication date: October 27, 2022
    Applicant: NLIGHT, INC.
    Inventors: Shuang LI, Jiamin Zhang, Nanoj Kanskar, Chendong Bai
  • Publication number: 20220337023
    Abstract: Systems and methods for temporal amplitude modulation of an optical beam. An exemplary system may include a birefringent fiber positioned between two polarizers, or between a polarized input light source and an output polarizer. Light may enter the birefringent fiber as linearly polarized. Depending on birefringence and orientation of the birefringent fiber, the polarization state changes as the light propagates through the birefringent fiber. This changed polarization state then enters the output polarizer, for which transmission is a function of the polarization state and the relative orientation of the polarization axis. The polarization state emerging from the birefringent fiber may be changed by modulating the fiber birefringence, for example through application of an external stress. Net transmittance of the system may be varied according to a magnitude of an external force (e.g., pressure) to some or all of the birefringent fiber.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 5, 2020
    Publication date: October 20, 2022
    Applicant: nLIGHT, Inc.
    Inventor: Dahv A.V. Kliner
  • Patent number: 11465232
    Abstract: A laser patterning alignment method provides a way to position a target at a working distance in a laser patterning system such that fiducial marks on the target are positioned in view of at least three laser patterning system cameras, and with each laser patterning system camera, to locate a fiducial mark on the target and sending location data of the located fiducial mark to a controller, to determine corrections required to align expected fiducial mark locations with the sent fiducial mark location data, and to adjust the laser patterning system with the determined corrections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2022
    Assignee: nLIGHT, Inc.
    Inventors: Vito P. Errico, Roger C. Shipman
  • Publication number: 20220303522
    Abstract: Systems and methods for reducing or eliminating undesired effects of retro-reflections in imaging are disclosed. A system for reducing the undesired effects of retro-reflections may include an illuminator and an optical receiver. The illuminator is configured to emit an illumination signal for illuminating a scene. The optical receiver is configured to receive returned portions of the illumination signal scattered or reflected from the scene. Return signals from retroreflectors present in the scene may oversaturate or otherwise negatively affect sensors in the optical receiver. To limit return signals from retroreflectors that may be present in the scene, the illuminator and optical receiver are physically separated from each other by an offset distance that limits or prevents retro-reflections from the retroreflectors from being received by the optical receiver.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2022
    Publication date: September 22, 2022
    Applicant: nLIGHT, Inc.
    Inventors: Bodo Schmidt, Steve Herman
  • Publication number: 20220274203
    Abstract: Methods include directing a laser beam to a target along a scan path at a variable scan velocity and adjusting a digital modulation during movement of the laser beam along the scan path and in relation to the variable scan velocity so as to provide a fluence at the target within a predetermined fluence range along the scan path. Some methods include adjusting a width of the laser beam with a zoom beam expander. Apparatus include a laser source situated to emit a laser beam, a 3D scanner situated to receive the laser beam and to direct the laser beam along a scan path in a scanning plane at the target, and a laser source digital modulator coupled to the laser source so as to produce a fluence at the scanning plane along the scan path that is in a predetermined fluence range as the laser beam scan speed changes along the scan path.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2022
    Publication date: September 1, 2022
    Applicant: nLIGHT, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert J. Martinsen, Qi Wang
  • Patent number: 11424598
    Abstract: Laser diode packages include a rigid thermally conductive base member that includes a base member surface situated to support at least one laser diode assembly, at least one electrode standoff secured to the base member surface that has at least one electrical lead having a first end and a second end with the first end secured to a lead surface of the electrode standoff, and a lid member that includes a lid portion and a plurality of side portions extending from the lid portion and situated to be secured to the base member so as to define sides of the laser diode package, wherein at least one of the side portions includes a lead aperture situated to receive the second end of the secured electrical lead that is insertable through the lead aperture so that the lid member extends over the base member to enclose the laser diode package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2022
    Assignee: nLIGHT, Inc.
    Inventors: David C. Dawson, Wolfram Urbanek, David Martin Hemenway
  • Publication number: 20220255296
    Abstract: In an example, the disclosed technology includes a laser source, comprising a plurality of pump elements configured to generate laser light, a controller coupled to the plurality of pump elements, configured to select individual drive current levels to be provided to respective ones of the plurality of pump elements responsive to a request for a laser power level and at least one power supply coupled to one or more of the plurality of pump elements for driving individual pump elements at selected drive currents.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 15, 2020
    Publication date: August 11, 2022
    Applicant: NLIGHT, INC.
    Inventors: Tyson L. LOWDER, Robert Joseph FOLEY, Michael C. NELSON
  • Patent number: 11411132
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are laser scanning systems and methods of their use. In some embodiments, laser scanning systems can be used to ablatively or non-ablatively scan a surface of a material. Some embodiments include methods of scanning a multi-layer structure. Some embodiments include translating a focus-adjust optical system so as to vary laser beam diameter. Some embodiments make use of a 20-bit laser scanning system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2022
    Assignee: nLIGHT, Inc.
    Inventor: Ken Gross
  • Publication number: 20220241859
    Abstract: Disclosed are techniques for generating a laser output beam having a functionally homogenized intensity distribution. According to some embodiments, a population of few modes in a multi-mode confinement core is excited by application of a low-moded source beam to the multi-mode confinement core, such that the population exhibit an unstable intensity distribution. The unstable intensity distribution is functionally homogenized by providing one or both of modulation of phase displacement in the multi-mode confinement core and variation of launch conditions of the low-moded source beam into the multi-mode confinement core.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 24, 2020
    Publication date: August 4, 2022
    Applicant: nLIGHT, Inc.
    Inventors: Juan Lugo, Aaron W. Brown, Jay Small, Robert J. Martinsen, Dahv A.V. Kliner
  • Patent number: 11389896
    Abstract: Some embodiments may include a galvanometric laser system, comprising: a laser device to generate a laser beam; an X-Y scan head module to position the laser beam on a work piece, the X-Y scan head module including a laser ingress to receive the laser beam and a laser egress to output the laser beam; a support platen located below the laser egress; an in-machine imaging system integrated with the galvanometric laser, wherein a camera of the in-machine imaging system is arranged to view a surface of an object located on the support platen using one or more optical components of the X-Y scan head module to generate assessment data associated with a calibration of the X-Y scan head module by imaging the surface of the object, wherein a calibration fiducial is located on the surface of the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2022
    Assignee: NLIGHT, INC.
    Inventors: Aaron Brown, Jay Small, Robert J. Martinsen
  • Publication number: 20220221663
    Abstract: A laser assembly comprising a multi-clad fiber optically coupled to a light source configured to emit optical radiation at a first wavelength and a protective element disposed between the light source and the multi-clad fiber so as to prevent a portion of backward-propagating optical radiation at a second wavelength from coupling into the light source.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2020
    Publication date: July 14, 2022
    Applicant: NLIGHT, INC.
    Inventors: Dahv A.V. KLINER, C. Geoffrey FANNING
  • Patent number: 11375174
    Abstract: A system and method for reducing background light in an image are disclosed. The system includes a sensor and a processor. An illuminator may illuminate a scene with emitted light. The sensor outputs one or more images in response to received light. The processor processes images from the sensor to reduce or eliminate ambient light in a captured image. The processor may do this by causing the sensor to capture a first image of the scene, where the first image includes background light and portions of the emitted light reflected or scattered from the scene. The processor also causes the sensor to capture a second image of the scene, where the second image includes background light with no contribution from the emitted light. The processor subtracts the second image from the first image to produce a third image of the scene predominately illuminated by the emitted light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2022
    Assignee: nLIGHT, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul S. Banks, Bodo Schmidt, Lorenzo N. Venneri
  • Publication number: 20220190545
    Abstract: In an example, a tandem pumped fiber amplifier may include a seed laser, a first section coupled to an output of the seed laser, and a second section coupled to an output of the first section. The first section may operate as an oscillator, and may receive pump light from one or more diode pumps, and may the first section may be arranged to convert the one or more diode pumps into a tandem pump. The second section may operate as a power amplifier, and may include a length of a single or plural active core fiber. The tandem pumped fiber amplifier may be arranged to mitigate spectral broadening related to four-wave mixing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 4, 2022
    Publication date: June 16, 2022
    Applicant: NLight, Inc.
    Inventors: Manoj Kanskar, Jiamin Zhang
  • Publication number: 20220181835
    Abstract: In an example, a tandem pumped fiber amplifier may include a seed laser, one or more diode pumps, and a single or plural active core fiber. The single or plural active core fiber may include a first section to operate as an oscillator and a second different section to operate as a power amplifier. The one or more diode pumps may be optically coupled to the first section of the single or plural active core fiber, and the seed laser may be optically coupled to the single active core or an innermost core of the plural active core fiber.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2021
    Publication date: June 9, 2022
    Applicant: NLIGHT, INC.
    Inventors: Manoj Kanskar, Jiamin Zhang
  • Patent number: 11353650
    Abstract: Large mode area optical fibers include cores that are selected to be smaller than a core size associated with a minimum mode field diameter of a lowest order mode. Cross-sectional shape of such cores can be circular or annular, and a plurality of such cores can be used. Gain regions can be provided in cores or claddings, and selected to produce a selected state of polarization.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2022
    Assignee: nLIGHT, Inc.
    Inventor: Manoj Kanskar
  • Patent number: 11331756
    Abstract: Methods include directing a laser beam to a target along a scan path at a variable scan velocity and adjusting a digital modulation during movement of the laser beam along the scan path and in relation to the variable scan velocity so as to provide a fluence at the target within a predetermined fluence range along the scan path. Some methods include adjusting a width of the laser beam with a zoom beam expander. Apparatus include a laser source situated to emit a laser beam, a 3D scanner situated to receive the laser beam and to direct the laser beam along a scan path in a scanning plane at the target, and a laser source digital modulator coupled to the laser source so as to produce a fluence at the scanning plane along the scan path that is in a predetermined fluence range as the laser beam scan speed changes along the scan path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2022
    Assignee: nLIGHT, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert J. Martinsen, Qi Wang