Liquid Cooling for Lasers

Lasers generate a significant amount of thermal energy during operation. Even the most efficient lasers will not convert all applied energy into optical output, so excess energy gets transformed into heat. Lasers with lower power levels can typically manage waste heat through passive cooling or natural airflow. High-power lasers, on the other hand, require more active cooling strategies.  Microchannel liquid cooling is often an effective solution.

At Mikros Technologies, we design and manufacture microchannel liquid cold plates for use in laser crystal and laser diode cooling applications. Our cold plates dissipate heat evenly and efficiently to keep laser systems performing optimally.

Laser Diode and Laser Crystal Thermal Management

Failure to manage waste heat properly can result in beam quality degradation, wavelength shift and damage to critical laser components. Like many other high-power devices, laser diodes and laser crystals need thermal management systems to operate effectively and efficiently. A laser must consistently maintain its designed operating temperature under power to maximize beam strength and quality.

Mikros’ microchannel cooling solutions regulate the temperature of laser diodes and crystals by circulating coolant evenly across the heated surfaces. The lower thermal mass of the coolant in a microchannel provides lower thermal resistance, effectively carrying power away from the diode or crystal, keeping temperature rise to a minimum.  Coolant flow can be adjusted by millimeter-size divisions to target high power areas of a laser surface and minimize temperature gradients.

Laser Heat Load

Heat load is the amount of heat energy it takes to maintain the desired temperature. Each laser diode has its own heat load, based on the ideal operating temperature and the amount of waste heat generated. Our microchannel liquid cooling systems for high-power lasers can dissipate over 1kW/cm2, making them ideal for high heat load applications.

Benefits of Liquid Cooling for Lasers

Mikros’ Microchannel liquid cooling comes with a variety of benefits that improve laser system ownership and function.

Increased Wavelength Precision

A laser’s emitted wavelength increases as the laser system’s temperature increases. This principle means overheating may lead to undesirable shifts in wavelength. Microchannel liquid cooling manages heat fluctuations, mitigating this risk in applications that require wavelength precision.

Improved Optical Conversion Efficiency

For a laser system to provide high optical conversion efficiency in pumping applications, the light emitted must fall within a very narrow wavelength limit. By keeping the operating temperatures constant, our microchannel coolers help improve laser diodes’ optical conversion efficiency.

Improved Beam Quality

Beam quality also degrades as system temperature increases. Beam quality impacts how tightly a laser beam can be focused, making it important for laser printing, material processing, cutting and drilling. Efficient and effective heat transfer through Mikros microchannel matrices can ensure proper beam quality in all applications.

Increased Laser System Lifetime

By lowering operating temperatures more efficiently, Mikros liquid-cooling increases the lifetime of laser diode system components with lower overall cost.

Reduced Thermal Stress

Using tailored cooling, our microchannel matrices reduce thermal stress and eliminate hot spots, routing more coolant to areas that require more heat dissipation.

Liquid Cooling Performance Capabilities

Mikros designs microchannel cooling systems that dissipate heat more effectively, keeping pressure drop and thermal resistance low. Our cold plates under laboratory endurance testing show no change in core thermal resistance over 15 years, so you can trust them to perform without degradation if the coolant is well maintained.

Optical Cooling Areas

You can use Mikros Technologies liquid cooling solutions to dissipate waste heat from the following optical systems in addition to laser diodes and crystals.

High-Power LEDs

High-power light-emitting diodes generate significant waste heat as well. Mikros liquid cooling can help lengthen their operational power and lifetime.

High-Power Ultraviolet Lights

Ultraviolet (UV) lights can range in wavelength from 10 to 400 nanometers. Our liquid cooling systems also effectively manage heat produced by devices emitting across the UV spectrum.

Learn More About Laser Diode Thermal Management

For more information about how our microchannel cold plates improve laser system performance and reliability, reach out to us today.