One significant way in which laser precision could be improved is if there was a better means to obtain feedback on the way the laser interacts (laser interaction) with a material. That way, there would be greater control and less uncertainty in the cutting and etching actions of a production laser. This problem has proven surprisingly difficult to tackle until now.
Despite the enormous amount of research over the decades into lasers and their applications, there have been few ways to accurately, efficiently, and directly observe fine details of their interactions with materials – laser interaction observation.
For the first time, researchers have found a way to acquire such data from a production laser using low-cost equipment that could vastly improve the accuracy of items cut or etched with lasers. Given the ubiquity of lasers, this could have wide-ranging implications in laboratory, commercial and industrial applications.