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CORDIS - Resultados de investigaciones de la UE

Diamond Lasers: Revolutionising Laser Engineering

Final Report Summary - DIAL (Diamond Lasers: Revolutionising Laser Engineering)

The Diamond Lasers project (DiaL; grant number 278389) has helped to pave the way for the use of diamond in solid-state laser engineering. This material is two orders of magnitude more effective at transporting heat than conventional solid-state laser materials, potentially easing one of the principal bottlenecks in laser engineering. However, the conventional means to provide light amplification are not available in diamond. The DiaL project has helped to develop means to use diamond as a laser material and as an ancillary heat removal material in lasers, by harnessing – and indeed helping to enhance – the remarkable progress made by the diamond growth community in the production of very high optical quality synthetic diamond. The project breaks down into four complementary strands: the characterisation of high optical quality diamond, the development of diamond Raman lasers, the development of diamond hybrid lasers, and the fabrication and characterisation of colour-centre containing diamond for application as a laser gain material. This uniquely wide-ranging approach has been critical in establishing diamond as a credible material for laser engineering. It is this proving of diamond for laser applications that is the major outcome of the DiaL programme.

In combination, the four project strands have established the potential of diamond for solid-state laser engineering – by thoroughly characterising its basic laser-related properties and by establishing the potential for its use both to thermally manage existing laser materials and to act as a laser material in its own right. Particular highlights include the demonstration of the first tuneable and monolithic diamond Raman lasers, full characterisation of the Raman gain coefficient in diamond as a function of wavelength and polarisation, a first assessment of laser induced damage in modern high optical quality diamond, the assembly of four-piece optically contacted diamond/laser crystal assemblies, and the fabrication and characterisation of colour-centre containing diamond with parts per million levels of NV and H3 colour centres.

These achievements have led, in turn, to significant technology transfer and follow-on research. In particular, the team has secured continuation funding to work on lasers for LIDAR and clear plastics welding and on monolithic diamond Raman lasers, with support from three EU companies.