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White Light Fibre Lasers - Highly Disruptive Illumination Technology for Industry and Medical Surgery

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - WhiteLase-2020 (White Light Fibre Lasers - Highly Disruptive Illumination Technology for Industry and Medical Surgery)

Reporting period: 2016-10-01 to 2017-09-30

WhiteLase-2020 addresses the need in semiconductor manufacturing and medical markets for a high-end, industrially-robust, high-brightness illumination source having the spectrum of a lamp and the beam quality and reliability of a laser. Such a source will disrupt the €600m global market for industrial lighting and be a key enabler for the combined €7.5 billion Ophthalmic and Semiconductor Equipment markets which depend on them.

During the project, Fianium Ltd has been acquired by NKT Photonics which has had a highly positive impact on the project in terms of technology development and the ability of the company to exploit the impressive project results.

Through access to the combined Fianium-NKT Photonics engineering teams, the project has benefitted from having access to the world’s best experts, with unparalleled experience in supercontinuum fiber laser technology. Furthermore, with their impressive, and growing sales force, NKT Photonics provides the ability to efficiently and rapidly disseminate the project success to the industrial community, to exploit the resulting technology and to deliver the anticipated economic impact to the European Community.

Within the WhiteLase-2020 project, Fianium (NKT Photonics) have overcome the challenges of engineering a scientific illumination technology into a compact, robust, industrially qualified illumination source capable of volume manufacture and reduced lifetime cost of ownership.

WhiteLase-2020 illumination sources are more than 1.25 Million times brighter than high power Xenon lamps and are capable of replacing more than 16 individual high power laser diodes. Furthermore, the technology is being qualified to lifetimes in excess of 20,000 hours and has been designed for manufacture in volume.

The resulting project outputs are truly disruptive light sources that have been qualified to customer-provided specifications and will totally disrupt existing markets within 2 years of the project, replacing high power lamps, LED's and multi-colour laser diode modules.
During the 24-month WhiteLase-2020 project, Fianium (NKT Photonics) has successfully delivered all forecast deliverables, met all milestones and is well on the way to meeting the overall project objectives to produce disruptive illumination technology for Ophthalmology and Semiconductor manufacturing applications.

Two high-end white-light laser prototype platforms have been developed and qualified for more than 5000 hours continuous operation, demonstrating excellent performance and reliability needed for industrial and medical applications.
WhiteLase-2020 has successfully taken a state-of-art scientific research laser and developed it into an industrial illumination.
Three design iterations have been required in order to deliver such a successful outcome, with each of the Gamma-design platforms built within a pilot production run of 10-20 systems that are currently running on life-test and have each successfully passed stringent environmental testing including temperature cycling and shock and vibration.

The platforms are based on the well-established NKT Photonics engineering platform and include real-time on-board diagnostics as well as built in redundancy to enable unprecedented lifetimes of operation required for 24/7 applications with optimised customer lifetime cost of ownership.

The platforms address applications with different requirements and are being launched, initially as three product variants as;

- SuperK EVO - an air-cooled product that can be manufactured for custom-scientific or industrial applications

- SuperK EVO-OEM - a water-cooled product targeted exclusively at turnkey, industrial volume applications

- SuperK Fianium - a high power, air-cooled industrial (or scientific) qualified supercontinuum source for high-end applications

The product families will be based on leading-edge Photonic Crystal Fiber (PCF) supercontinuum generators that have been developed by Fianium-NKT Photonics and improved to enable continuous operation, at high optical intensities for many years of 24/7 operation.
The technology platforms developed within WhiteLase-2020, not only demonstrate leading-edge performance for optical illumination sources, but they demonstrate cost reductions over existing state of the art, presenting an opportunity for reduced cost of ownership that will benefit end-users and consumers / patients in the wider society.

The project has delivered, for the first time, a white light illuminator that can operate for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without the need for maintenance or replacement.

Compared to incumbent, state-of art lamp illuminators, the WhiteLase-2020 technology delivers in excess of 1 million times the optical brightness and up to 20X the useful operational lifetimes, meaning that a single WhiteLase-2020 source can avoid the manufacture, installation, replacement and recycling of more than 20 high power lamps during its operational lifetime.

In applications requiring laser-beam illumination, the WhiteLase-2020 technology, having spectrum spanning from the blue to the Mid Infra-Red can provide an end user with any selected optical wavelength, providing an integrator with the highest of flexibility. Moreover, with use of an appropriate filter, the developed technology can produce up to 16 different laser wavelengths simultaneously, replacing up to 16 individual laser sources, their associated manufacturing, packaging, shipping and recycling costs - benefiting both end customers and the global environment.

The anticipated economic growth that can be achieved following successful exploitation of the project results, will result in further significant high-skilled job creation within the European Community.
NKT Photonics, having offices in Denmark (Head Office), the UK (Fianium), Germany (LIOS Technology) and in Switzerland (OneFive Lasers who were acquired in September 2017) has unparalleled capabilities in supercontinuum-ultrafast fiber laser technology and present a core-hub of expertise within Europe on which to build growth of WhiteLase-2020 technology.
SuperK EVO Product from Released Data Sheet
Dissemination and Exploitation (Trade-show) of working white light lasers
SuperK Fianium Product from Released Data Sheet
SuperK EVO-OEM Product from Released Data Sheet