There is a strong pull for practical ultrafast laser sources from a magnitude of applications and associated markets. These applications often demand systems with high reliability and maintenance-/alignment-free operation while at the same time, be highly adaptable to cater the numerous requirements imposed by the specific application. One of the key issues that prevent state-of-the-art ultrafast lasers offering such capabilities is their intrinsic complexity which often causes the requirement of intervention from highly skilled engineers and makes implementation of ultrafast technology into demanding applications outside research laboratories almost impossible.
MiniMods aims to address these short comings by developing 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 but 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, thereby making them suitable for a wide range of real world applications.
While there are various ultrafast diagnostic tools on the market already, these are generally very expensive and bulky apparatus that don’t lend themselves for integration into fully engineered systems. MiniMods will overcome this by exploiting a series of new technological concepts developed by the consortium to realise autocorrelators, beam quality detectors, spectrometers, compressors and third harmonic generators. In this context, cost effectiveness and a highly compact form are paramount factors to ensure that these systems can be utilized as a main stream component in future generations of ultrafast oscillators.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME - Research for SMEs
G1 2TB Glasgow