The sorting of metals has become a new challenge due to a lack and the associated higher value of raw materials. In production, metals are often mixed and have to be separated afterwards. To analyze the metal a pulsed laser system can be used, which generates a plasma on the surface of the metal to determine the material properties (laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy LIBS).
For efficient sorting on an assembly line, the processes must be very fast, which requires high repetitive and high-energy laser systems. The company neoLASE developed a MOPA system for this application with repetition rates up to megahertz and more than 1 megawatt peak power. Thus very fast LIBS is possible. The laser system has an output power of up to 75W and reaches several millijoule of pulse energy. The pulse duration is tunable from less than 1 ns to 100 ns. In addition to LIBS, the system is also suitable for other spectroscopic applications or laser ranging.