There have been a growing number of manufacturing processes utilising ultra-short-pulse laser beams with pulse durations in the 0.5 to 10 ps range. An important emerging application is the micro-processing of transparent materials, for example glass cutting and surface structuring. Processing of high-value components with ultra-short-pulse lasers has been identified by major industry role players as a key market for which laser technology must be further developed to the kW-level average output power in order to increase production throughput.
The project team will research, develop and demonstrate new amplifier technology for short-pulse laser systems. The research outcomes will enable the development of UK-based amplifier technology by utilising a number of key innovative concepts and emerging technologies. It will be executed, with financial and technical support of the industrial collaborator Rofin-Sinar UK, according to the project work plan comprising of:
- Industry-relevant ultra-short-pulse laser processing studies together with the industry collaborator, using existing laser technology, to indicate what laser parameters would be required for a future kW-level industrial laser system.
- Research on new amplifier device architectures to scale to kW average powers, with design goals of high efficiency and minimising the cost of system production.
- Research on amplification strategies to power- and energy-scale bursts of ultra-short laser pulses, using multi-fold techniques combined with planar gain medium structures.
- Platform research on new concepts that may prove instrumental in future high-power amplifier systems, including non-traditional oscillator technologies; oscillator-amplifier configurations and other emerging technologies.
The research outcomes of the project, including development of a short-pulse kW-level amplifier system, will be the enabling technologies for the future flagship program of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Laser-based Production Processes on Cost-effective kW-scale ps laser processing.
For more information please contact Professor Daniel Esser, M.J.D.Esser@hw.ac.uk