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Fianium awarded $2.7m to develop 'next gen' fiber lasers

10 Jan 2007

A consortium led by UK company Fianium is awarded $2.7 million (Euro 2.1 million) to develop "next generation" fiber lasers for industrial and imaging applications.

A consortium led by UK company Fianium, a developer of ultrafast fiber lasers, has received $2.7 million (€2.0 million) from the UK Government's Department of Trade and Industry to develop "next generation" fiber lasers for industrial and imaging applications.

The DTI-funded Ultrafast project is a collaborative project involving Fianium as lead partner, Lairdside Laser Engineering Centre (LLLC), at the University of Liverpool, as a partner responsible for materials processing characterization, and the Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials(CPPM), at the University of Bath, which is developing novel fiber geometries for incorporation into Fianium's products.

LLLC will take delivery of a new picosecond fiber laser system from Fianium this month (January 2007) for materials processing characterization trials as part of the Ultrafast project. The laser is a member of the FemtoPower series operating at a wavelength of 1064 nm with a maximum pulse energy of 4 µJ. The laser has a built-in pulse-picker which allows an end-user to step-wise change the laser repetition rate from 20 MHz to 1 MHz.

CPPM is to develop new types of photonic crystal fibers tailored for use within ultrafast fiber lasers to enable the delivery of femtosecond pulses with high peak powers.

John Clowes, VP Research and Development at Fianium and project coordinator, said he is pleased with the potential outputs of the project. "This award is a clear recognition of our achievements at the forefront of fiber laser technology. The collaboration with Lairdside and Bath will be a great benefit in developing revolutionary new fiber lasers for materials processing and imaging applications."

Martin Sharp, manager of the Lairdside centre is also encouraged by the success of the Ultrafast project, saying, "It is important for Lairdside Laser Engineering Centre to foster a close relationship with laser companies such as Fianium, bringing our expertise in laser material processing to these projects and helping the company to exploit the laser source to its full extent."

William Wadsworth, who leads the CPPM team, added, "The Ultrafast project gives us access to state of the art fiber lasers and allows us to carry out investigations in photonic materials using high energy and linearly polarized clean ultrashort optical pulses from a compact and user friendly fiber laser source. This will undoubtedly lead us to discovering exciting effects in photonic crystal fibers."

Fianium is a manufacturer of ultrafast fiber lasers. It has its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Southampton, UK, and sales operations in the US, Japan and China.

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