Electro-optic systems, including lasers, incorporate a range of optical components (based on either glasses or crystals) that typically need to be adjusted and then permanently or semi-permanently mounted into a mechanical supporting structure, usually made from machined metal. Typically, mounting of these optical components uses various adhesives and/or mechanical clamping arrangements. Adhesives suffer from long term stability issues, including creep and degradation; also outgassing, if used in a hermetically sealed or vacuum application.
The Centre has been developing a direct laser bonding process using an ultrashort pulsed (picosecond) laser, and have demonstrated its feasibility for the welding of glass to metal, in addition to glass-to-glass bonding. Having proven this feasibility, we are pursueing a detailed development of the process for the bonding of standard optical components to metal parts, based around the requirements of the industrial partner.
For more information please contact Professor Duncan Hand, D.P.Hand@hw.ac.uk