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EU funds development of ultrafast disk lasers

29 Oct 2013

University of Stuttgart will lead two international consortia with distinct objectives.

The development of ultrashort pulse disk lasers with a high midrange power is being substantially supported by the EU for the next three years. The scientific and strategic commitment by the Institute for Laser Tools at the University of Stuttgart to develop the next generation of ultra-short-pulse disk lasers is now leading into two Specific Targeted Research Projects (STReP) in the framework of the EU's 7th European Subsidy Program starting on 1st November 2013.

Both projects have the aim of developing disk lasers capable of delivering several hundred watts "midrange" power. The first design is intended to achieve particularly short pulses (shorter than 0.1 nanoseconds) on the basis of mutually cooled laser disks made of titanium sapphire (sapphire fortified with titanium). The second design, with a crystalline wave guide as a pre-amplifier and a laser disk as a main amplifier, is intended for delivering cylindrically-polarized pulses with a duration of several nanoseconds (10-9s).

Together the projects have a total value of €9.14 million, of which the financial support provided by the EU will amount to €6.37 million, of which the IFSW will receive €1.9 million. The projects are being coordinated at the IFSW in its business division for laser development and laser optics headed by Dr. Abdou Ahmed.

Prof. Thomas Graf, Head of the Institute for Laser Tools at the University of Stuttgart, commented on winning the development funding: “Along with the very interesting scientific challenges, the development of new ultrashort pulse disk lasers with a high midrange power is also of great scientific interest with the aim of increasing productivity of laser-based material processing.”

The first consortium comprises the following partners: Thales Optronique SA (France), Element Six Ltd. (UK), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (France), Oxford Lasers and M-Squared Lasers Ltd (both UK) for the development of the titanium sapphire disk lasers (coordinated by Dr. A. Voß, IFSW, University of Stuttgart, Germany).

The second consortium involves: Time-Bandwidth Products AG (Switzerland), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (France), Fibercryst SAS (France), Next Scan Technology B.V. (The Netherlands), GFH GmbH (Germany), Schweißtechnische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt SLV Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany) and Class 4 Laser Professionals AG (Switzerland) will work together on the second project for the ultra-short-pulse laser disks with cylindrical polarization (coordinated by Dr. M. Abdou Ahmed, IFSW, University of Stuttgart, Germany).

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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