Efficient Production of Doughnut-Shaped Ce:Nd:YAG Solar Laser Beam

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Abstract

Laser beams with a doughnut-shaped profile have garnered much attention for their contribution to trapping nanoparticles and improving the scanning speed during laser-based 3D metal printing. For this reason, the production of a doughnut-shaped solar laser beam by end-side pumping a Ce:Nd:YAG rod with a small reflective parabolic collector was investigated. The resultant beam profile shape depended on the absorbed solar power, displaying a TEM00-mode profile at elevated input power. This phenomenon was primarily attributed to the role of distributing energy around the central region of the crystal. In contrast, at lower input power, a doughnut-shaped beam emerged, characterized by minimal energy distribution at the center. Through experiments conducted with a collection area of 0.226 m2 and a nominal solar irradiance from 970 W/m2 to 1000 W/m2, it was demonstrated that sufficient energy was available to generate a doughnut-shaped beam with a solar laser collection efficiency of 5.96 W/m2, surpassing previous measurements by 1.32 times. Further research with a larger collection area of 0.332 m2 and a diverse solar irradiance range of 650 W/m2 to 800 W/m2 revealed that the presence of a thin layer of cloud caused a transition from a doughnut-shaped to a TEM10-mode and, eventually, a TEM00-mode as the absorbed input solar power increased. Notably, under heavier cloud cover, the laser beam exhibited deformation at low input power instead of maintaining a doughnut-shaped profile. This research significantly enhances our comprehension of doughnut-shaped solar laser beams and their reliance on solar energy. By harnessing the plentiful and readily accessible energy from the Sun, the incorporation of solar energy into the realm of solar-pumped lasers holds immense promise for promoting sustainability. This transformative utilization can progressively diminish the industry’s carbon footprint, yielding long-term environmental benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13761
Number of pages16
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume15
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2023

Keywords

  • Ce:Nd:YAG
  • doughnut-shaped laser beam
  • solar energy
  • solar-pumped laser

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