Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - FS CR:COLQUIRIITES (Route to Low-cost, High-energy, and Tunable Femtosecond Laser Technology Based on Diode-Pumped Cr:Colquiriites)

In laser research, ultrafast laser technology is an active research field focusing on the development of advanced, high-performance femtosecond lasers in different wavelength regions for diverse applications in spectroscopy, biomedical imaging, material processing, optical chemistry and optical metrology. As a specific example, multi-photon microscopy (MPM) is a powerful tool for biomedical imaging, enabling molecular contrast and integrated structural and functional imaging on the cellular and subcellular level. However, the cost and complexity of femtosecond laser sources that are required in MPM are significant hurdles to widespread adoption of this important imaging modality. For example, most of the histopathology laboratories around the world could not afford multi-photon microscopes. On the other hand, MPM can provide quite vital information about the patient upon investigation of cancer tissues. This example clearly shows that, development of lower cost laser sources is not only important as a technical improvement, but also quite important for many other areas of science and have direct impact on human life standards.

Motivated by these facts, during his EU FP7 Career Integration Grant (321787, fs Cr:Colquiriites), Dr. Umit Demirbas has worked on development of low-cost femtosecond laser sources at Antalya International University (AIU) between Sept 2012 and Sept 2016. AIU is very young, established in 2010, and Dr. Demirbas joined the university as an assistant professor in 2011. With the help of EU funding, he has established the Laser Technology Laboratory, which is actually the first laboratory that is established in the university. Dr. Demirbas secured additional funding from 5 other resources for his research activities. Research results from the EU project has been published in 16 international journal articles, and has been presented in 12 international and 15 national conferences/seminars (out of 6 were invited). In our studies, we have clearly shown that low-cost laser sources based on Cr:Colquiriites can be developed. In the coming year, we will be working on commercialization of the resulting technology. We hope that, research like ours, will help to lower the cost of laser sources and enable widespread usage of laser technology, that can accelerate research in many areas of science and engineering.

Besides scientific research efforts, Dr. Demirbas has been active as a teacher and as a promoter of science. While supported by the EU CIG project, Dr. Demirbas offered courses on electromagnetism, optics, and photonics to university students. He gave more than 10 talks to regional high school students to promote scientific careers, and helped robotics education of selected highly skilled pupils in the Antalya region. Most importantly, in his studies at Laser Technology Laboratory, he has involved undergraduate students into research, and 3 of our undergrad students is now co-authors in journal articles published in prestigious international scientific journals. These students will continue their PhD education in prestigious universities in Europe and USA, and hopefully will return back to the region to educate the next generation of scientist and engineers. Dr. Demirbas has now been quite established at Antalya International University. He has been promoted to the associate professorship rank in 2015, and will be evaluated for a professorship rank in 2020. He is quite thankful to the EU CIG support, which has been quite vital and timely, while he was establishing himself as an independent researcher.

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