Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

MINIMODS Result In Brief

Project ID: 606141
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: United Kingdom

Better, faster lasers

Modern laser sources are characterised by a high degree of performance coupled with highly functional electronics control. The next steps will be to add more miniaturised capabilities.
Better, faster lasers
New electronics modules can be integrated into the source, giving increased diagnostic facilities or output conversion capabilities. These next-generation innovations will provide a higher level of user control and awareness, adding value to the technology and the wide range of processes in which they are deployed.

The concept for the MINIMODS (Miniaturised diagnostics and frequency-conversion modules for ultrafast lasers) project was to create a range of miniature and cost-effective modules for advanced laser diagnostics and control. The targeted developments were an autocorrelator unit, a beam propagation factor detector, a spectrometer, a frequency tripler and a pulse compressor. The objective was to create highly compact, rugged, cost-effective, wavelength-flexible and broadband modules.

MINIMODS worked to develop miniaturised laser diagnostic tools and frequency conversion modules that are small enough to be integrated directly into the optical heads of ultrafast lasers and synchronously pumped optical parametric oscillators. These modules will not only add direct readouts of key performance (e.g. pulse duration, spectrum, beam quality) and functionality, they will also offer the ability to use adaptive control loops to control the laser performance parameters to unprecedented accuracy. This will negate the need for any user intervention when operating these systems, making them suitable for a wide range of new applications.

The first focus was on miniaturised diagnostic modules for ultrafast lasers in the visible/near-infrared/mid-infrared. In particular, the work sought to establish designs for cost-effective autocorrelator units. The planned designs target the establishment of units capable of broadband operation at key near-infrared wavelengths as well as mid-infrared alternatives for synchronously pumped optical parametric oscillators.

A second effort focused on the development of both a miniaturised meter and a compact spectrometer for near- and mid-infrared laser sources. The motivation was to create modules that can be operated in either stand-alone or integrated arrangements. They must be capable of giving rapid and accurate read-outs of critical beam properties, including the spatial quality and output wavelength. These outputs can then be used for monitoring or feedback in advanced systems.

The project also worked to build a series of highly compact frequency tripler modules, designed for use with specific types of laser system, ranging from narrow-band fixed wavelength varieties to widely tunable sources. A miniaturised pulse compressor based on novel dispersion-compensating optics has also been designed.

Related information

Keywords

Lasers, MINIMODS, diagnostics, frequency-conversion, autocorrelator, parametric oscillator
Record Number: 188775 / Last updated on: 2016-11-03
Domain: Industrial Technologies