II-VI Incorporated Introduces Ceramic YAG Optical Materials for Solid-State Lasers in Automotive LiDAR

Feb 22, 2021

II‐VI Incorporated (Nasdaq: IIVI), a leader in engineered materials and laser optics, today announced the introduction of its ceramic YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet) platform for solid-state lasers and optical components.

The growing adoption of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in next-generation vehicles is spurring the development of LiDAR systems that can provide high-resolution mapping of a vehicle’s surrounding scene, hundreds of meters away, with components that can be produced reliably, consistently, and at scale. II-VI’s new ceramic YAG is based on a proprietary production process that is more scalable than crystalline YAG. Ceramic YAG is ideal for optical windows, and II-VI’s proprietary ceramic-doping process achieves very high doping uniformity and repeatability, enabling solid-state laser materials such as neodymium-doped YAG for the gain medium and chromium-doped YAG for the Q-switch. ??

“As a global leader in engineered materials, II-VI drives innovation in both ceramic and crystalline optical materials to enable us to tailor a broad range of physical properties that will lead to emerging laser applications,” said Steve Rummel, Sr. Vice President, Engineered Materials and Laser Optics Business Unit. ?“Unlike crystalline YAG, ceramic YAG enables us to scale production to meet customer demands while maintaining very tight tolerances in doping uniformity, enhancing the competitiveness of solid-state lasers in long-range automotive LiDAR.”

Starting from synthesized YAG powder, II-VI leverages its vertically integrated manufacturing process, including doping, forming, casting, densification, optical polishing, thin-film coating, and optical testing, to produce ceramic YAG laser optics of the highest quality and up to 100 mm in size, or about four times larger than in crystalline YAG, also enabling high-energy, solid-state laser applications in satellite communications and directed energy.

II-VI’s broad portfolio of products for long-range lasers includes coherent beam combiners, laser diode bars, laser gain crystals, nonlinear crystals, high-energy windows and coatings, and laser cavity optics. II-VI also offers reaction-bonded ceramic materials with industry-leading thermal conductivity for applications requiring efficient heat dissipation.

II-VI will showcase its broad product line of optics and lasers at the 2021 SPIE Photonics West Digital Forum, March 6-11, 2021.

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