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Solar-Pumped Lasers and Sustainable Laser Beams: Current and Future Development

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 14 November 2024 | Viewed by 1128

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Physics, NOVA University of Lisbon, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Interests: solar-pumped lasers; applied optics; laser technology; concentrated solar power; tracking error in solar collectors; industrial decarbonization

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Physics, NOVA University of Lisbon, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Interests: solid-state lasers; solar power concentration; optics and lasers
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Laser technology is widely used in several industrial and scientific areas, such as laser material processing, the medical industry, energy production, communications and space applications.

Solar-pumped lasers, being a sustainable source of coherent optical radiation, offer the prospect of a drastic reduction in the cost for high and average laser power applications, opening pathways to environmental and economical benefits in different technological segments, such as green hydrogen production and renewable energy cycles.

However, the search to improve productivity in order to make this technology economically competitive and expand to new segments of businesses is a key issue. This demand has led to a trend towards the implementation of multiple laser beams on a single work-piece/installation. On one hand, this new approach is scalable in productivity through multiplication, increasing the cost efficiency. On the other hand, it allows simultaneous multi-beam/multi-wavelength operation and different laser regimes, aiming to replace classical lamp- and diode-pumped lasers in laser processing tasks, ensuring a sustainable laser power production pattern, thus radically expanding multi-task laser applications.

The main current and future challenges of sustainable laser beams are to increase the efficiency, versatility and scalability compared with other classical, fossil-fuel-based laser beams, as a more robust and available implementation, suitable for different fields of low-carbon industry and poligeneration.

This Special Issue aims to collect original research articles, reviews and case studies on sustainable generated laser beams and their potential innovative applications. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

- Advancements in solar-pumped lasers using new materials to maximize the collection efficiency and brightness.

- Multi-beam configurations in solar-pumped lasers and their potential to increase the versatility, laser emission stability and uniformity of solar-pumped lasers.

 - Potential applications of sustainable laser beams in low-carbon industry and poligeneration.

- Prospects of solar-pumped lasers for green hydrogen production.

- Integration of solar-pumped lasers in industrial installations.   

- Possibilities of integrated operation of solar collectors, sustainable laser generation, and how energy infrastructure should evolve as the grid becomes more decarbonised and decentralized.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Bruno D. Tibúrcio
Dr. Dawei Liang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

Keywords
  • solar-pumped lasers
  • multi-beam
  • solar collectors
  • low-carbon industry

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

16 pages, 6438 KiB  
Article
Efficient Production of Doughnut-Shaped Ce:Nd:YAG Solar Laser Beam
by Dário Garcia, Dawei Liang, Joana Almeida, Miguel Catela, Hugo Costa, Bruno D. Tibúrcio, Emmanuel Guillot and Cláudia R. Vistas
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13761; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813761 - 15 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 864
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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