Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Femtosecond laser reaches a previously not attained mean output power of 1.1 kW

15.12.2010
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have developed an amplification concept for femtosecond lasers (fs laser).

As a result, they have been able to achieve mean power in the kilowatt range for the first time. The short pulses of the fs laser enable ultraprecise material processing. Thanks to the high mean power, the throughput in production can be increased significantly.

While lasers with continuous radiation (cw) are often used to cut and weld, pulsed lasers are mostly used to ablate.

For the latter, following generally applies – the shorter the pulse, the smaller the heat penetration depth, the higher the temperature at the material surface, and the higher the precision of the material processing. Material ablation mainly occurs via vaporization. The shorter pulses of the fs laser enable greater precision when ablating. In addition, materials can be processed that can only be poorly processed with lasers, or not at all.

The fs laser has not yet become established in industrial production. This could soon change when fs lasers with higher mean power become commercially available, thus making great throughput, lower maintenance costs and easier usability possible. Researchers from the Fraunhofer ILT have finally succeeded achieving power in the kilowatt range with an fs laser – a first step in expanding the industrial use of fs lasers decidedly.

Advanced Amplifier Design
The amplifier design is based on the INNOSLAB technology. This in-house development of the Fraunhofer ILT is characterized by an especially simple, robust and compact construction. The researchers from Aachen have extended the amplifier design by using yb-doped YAG as active medium, which enables the amplification of ultrashort pulses due to its large bandwidth. Since ytterbium-doped crystals place great demands upon the pump beam source, the availability of brilliant pump diodes has made this step first possible. The oscillator-amplifier system enables, in addition, more flexibility with respect to the repetition rate and the pulse duration, since to generate the pulse a variety of commercial fs oscillators are available based on fiber and solid-state lasers with about two watts of mean laser power.

Dr. Peter Rußbüldt, project leader at the Fraunhofer ILT, has cascaded two INNOSLAB amplifiers. In this way, the amplifier chain was able to generate a mean power of 1.1 kW at a peak pulse power of 80 MW and a pulse duration of 600 femtoseconds. The Aachen researchers have thus reached a new record.

The original purpose of the joint project with the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, funded by the BMBF (the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research), was a scientific application: the generation of coherent EUV radiation. During the project, researchers continued to develop the laser at the Fraunhofer ILT. »Thanks to this new power output, the fs laser slowly departs from its image as a scientifically complicated toy,« says Dr. Rußbüldt. »The higher power means the throughput also increases in production, which, in turn, means an enormous time and cost-based advantage for manufacturers. Therefore, the fs laser can now be applied in fields in which its throughput did not suffice in the past.« Typical applications of the fs laser in the macro sector are manufacturing processes for fiber-composite lightweight components. An fs laser can process the most varying of materials irrespective of their characteristics. In the micro sector the applications of this new beam source range from drilling of nozzles to tool engineering, solar cell engineering all the way to printing technology.

The Fraunhofer ILT will hold a workshop on this topic on April 13 and 14, 2011 in Aachen. Experts from research and industry will provide information about the foundations and laser beam sources of ultrashort pulse lasers (USP) and discuss relevant applications for material processing jointly with participants. Technological developments and their market potential will be illuminated in this USP workshop.

At the SPIE Photonics West (San Francisco, USA, January 25 -27, 2011), the Fraunhofer ILT will be showing high precision assembly technology for optical components in the German Pavilion North Hall at Stand 4601 and presenting further developments of heat sinks for high power diode lasers. In the accompanying conference (LASE, January 22 - 27, 2011), the Aachen experts will be presenting the new high power lasers to the specialist audience.

Your Contact Partners at the Fraunhofer ILT
Our experts would be glad to answer any questions you may have:
Dr. rer. nat. Peter Rußbüldt
Ultrafast Lasers
Telephone +49 241 8906-303
peter.russbueldt@ilt.fraunhofer.de
Dipl.-Ing. Hans-Dieter Hoffmann
Lasers and Laser Optics
Telephone +49 241 8906-206
hansdieter.hoffmann@ilt.fraunhofer.de
Information and registration for USP Workshop
Dr.-Ing. Jens Holtkamp
Micro and Nano Structuring
Telephone +49 241 8906-273
jens.holtkamp@ilt.fraunhofer.de
Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT
Steinbachstraße 15
52074 Aachen, Germany
Telephone +49 241 8906-0
Fax. +49 241 8906-121

Axel Bauer | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:
http://www.ilt.fraunhofer.de/eng/100000.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top
20.04.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht New record on squeezing light to one atom: Atomic Lego guides light below one nanometer
20.04.2018 | ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>