Ultrafast laser research to offer pulses on-demand

A project to develop a new generation of ultrafast lasers for industrial processes has begun. Coordinated by the Photonik-Zentrum Kaiserslautern (PZKL) research institute in Germany, the HiPoRep project will aim to address the ability to trigger laser pulses for greater control in ultrafast laser processing.

The research part of the Photonik-Zentrum Kaiserslautern is to develop a new type of monolithic laser amplifier together with a passive energy control system for laser pulses. This project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy via a Central Innovation Programme for Small and Medium Enterprises (ZIM project) with €1 million over a period of three years.

Micro-material processing with ultrashort laser pulses (less than 10ps) is well-established in many industrial applications such as cutting solar cells or drilling fine holes in injection nozzles. Currently available ultrafast systems lack the ability to control the exact time at which a single laser pulse is generated and emitted. Yet, various applications ask for an exact triggering of the laser pulse and dynamic adaptation of the repetition rate pulses. These requests are being addressed by the project.

Beside the PZKL, participants within the project are the Ferdinand Braun Institute for High Frequency Technologies (Berlin), Amphos (Herzogenrath), GWU-Lasertechnik (Erftstadt), Topag (Darmstadt), and GFH (Deggendorf).

The Photonik-Zentrum Kaiserslautern is a non-profit research institute founded 2009. It‘s goal is to transfer optical technologies from research into industry with special emphasis in supporting small and medium enterprises. Areas of specialty for the PZKL include optical measurement systems, laser development and micro-material processing using ultrashort laser pulses, together with their application in industrial processes.

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By Dave MacLellan, Executive Director, AILU


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