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EU backs pioneering research on laser crystals [Print to PDF] [Print to RTF]

The European Union has contributed some EUR 3.1 million to a pioneering project which aims to substantially improve the thermo-optical effects occurring in a Ti:Sapphire laser crystal pumped at high powers.

The TISA TD ('Ultrafast High-Average Power Ti:Sapphire Thin-Disk Os...
EU backs pioneering research on laser crystals
The European Union has contributed some EUR 3.1 million to a pioneering project which aims to substantially improve the thermo-optical effects occurring in a Ti:Sapphire laser crystal pumped at high powers.

The TISA TD ('Ultrafast High-Average Power Ti:Sapphire Thin-Disk Oscillators and Amplifiers') project was officially launched on 1 December 2013 and is led by the laser development and laser optics department at Stuttgart University (USTUTT) in Germany.

Currently, most of the powerful industrial ultrafast laser sources operate in the picosecond range, which is sufficient for precision micromachining of metals. However, in order to achieve optimum precision on transparent materials such as glass and ceramics - widely used, for example, in smartphones and tablets - pulse durations of the order of 100fs are required.

Financed under the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, the TISA TD consortium will seek to develop ultrafast, high-average power Ti:sapphire thin-disc oscillators and amplifiers.

It is hoped this, in turn, will provide for optimum precision and, what the project coordinator describes as, 'unprecedented' productivity in micro-machining of transparent materials such as glass and ceramics.

TISA TD is headed by Dr Marwan Abdou Ahmed, of Stuttgart University's Institute for Laser Tools (IFSW) and coordinated by Dr Andreas Voss, also from the same university. The project will run for three years until December 2016.

Commenting on the hoped-for results, Professor Thomas Graf, head of the IFSW, said, 'Along with the very interesting scientific challenges, the development of new ultrashort-pulse disk lasers with a high output power is also of great scientific interest with a view to the increase in productivity with laser-based material processing.'

The consortium comprises two laser technology research and development centres and four industrial partners represented by two SMEs.

Other partners on the project include the institute FEMTO-ST, which is affiliated to the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the company Thales Optronique (TOSA), both in France, along with the UK-based companies Element Six (E6), Oxford Lasers (OXFORD) and M-Squared Lasers (M2).

The consortium is well balanced and provides expertise covering the entire supply chain, from the laser development and manufacturing process to the actual industrial applications and material processing.

Oxford Lasers, for example, is overseeing the system integration and E6 provides the low-loss single crystal CVD diamond windows while M2 will be in charge of the development of the pre-prototype oscillator system.

Stuttgart University will be in overall control of the design, realization of the high-power Ti:sapphire thin-disk oscillator while CNRS is responsible for designing and testing a laser processing setup.

TOSA, meanwhile, will be in charge of the design, realization and characterization of the high-power Ti:sapphire thin-disk chirped-pulse amplification system.
Source: Stuttgart University

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Record Number: 36530 / Last updated on: 2014-04-18
Category: Project
Provider: EC