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Academia and industry join forces to advance laser technology

An EU initiative further strengthened collaboration between the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI), a premier ultrafast laser non-profit research institute in Europe, and one of the leading manufacturers of lasers for the scientific market.
Academia and industry join forces to advance laser technology
For the past decade, Germany’s MBI and a French-based manufacturer have been collaborating and participating in EU-funded schemes to achieve common goals.

The EU-funded JMAP project is a natural consequence of the main research interests pursued by MBI, namely attosecond and high-field science, and the French company’s goal to further target its research and development and commercial activities towards becoming a leading supplier of the laser technology that underlies research in these rapidly expanding fields.

Two early-stage researchers (ESRs) were hired to engage in collaborative research at both locations for the development and application of state-of-the-art laser equipment. ESRs were able to generate isolated attosecond laser pulses by substantially improving the carrier-envelope phase (CEP) stability of an amplitude laser system. This led to a much improved understanding of the many factors affecting the CEP stability of amplified femtosecond laser systems.

Substantial progress was made in the development of mJ-level thin-disk lasers as potential pump sources for high-repetition-rate optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA). An OPCPA system was developed that will achieve the required output characteristics needed for attosecond science applications. As a result, insight was gained in spatio-temporal couplings in OPCPA.

Progress was also achieved in the development of high-energy disk lasers for use in filamentation studies. First applications of the laser in filamentation enabled ESRs to establish the optimal way to distribute the laser energy over multiple pulses.

Lastly, ESRs performed experiments to better understand and improve the peak contrast in multi-terawatt Ti:Sapphire lasers. They determined the connection between the peak contrast and the value of the amplifier’s B-integral. Findings show that the peak contrast may be adversely affected by the excitation of coherent phonons in the Ti:Sapphire material.

JMAP took MBI’s fundamental research activities and the company’s commercial laser development efforts to another level.

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Laser technology, Max Born Institute, JMAP, attosecond, high-field science
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