Securing the Technological Lead with Laser Innovations

Two German regions are pooling their expertise in the field of laser technology in the recently launched BMBF project High Energy Class Mid-Infrared Lasers, HECMIR. The partners from Berlin and Jena are jointly developing a novel high-energy laser source for the mid-infrared spectral range. In the joint project, a diode-pumped solid-state laser with 1.9 μm wavelength that provides high laser energy in the Joule range is to be developed and demonstrated for the first time. This laser source offers a high innovation potential for applications in the medical sector, in material processing and in basic research. Due to several fundamental challenges, such a powerful pulsed laser source is not yet commercially available in this wavelength range.

Pulsed laser light source from the FBH, optimized for highest output powers. (Source: FBH, P. Immerz)

The small and medium-sized enter­prises and research insti­tu­tions involved want to change this, making such MIR lasers avai­lable by poo­ling their know-how along the entire value chain: inclu­ding manufac­turers of laser mate­rials, laser diodes and laser stacks as well as re­nowned research insti­tutes. Just by itself, research and de­vel­op­ment to establish manufac­turing of these high-energy class MIR lasers repre­sents a tech­nical inno­vation in the field of laser produc­tion tech­nol­ogy in Ger­many. The initia­tive thus makes a sub­stan­tial contri­bution to main­tain­ing German laser technol­ogy at the fore­front of inter­na­tional compe­tition. “This will result in inno­va­tive pro­ces­ses, pro­ducts and ser­vices that open up new market poten­tial, especial­ly for the SMEs in­vol­ved,” explains Frank Lerch, coordi­ator of HECMIR and managing director of the OpTecBB compe­tence network.

The HECMIR workshop High-energy class mid-infrared lasers will take place on October 17, 2018, as part of Photonik-Tage Berlin Branden­burg. The workshop deals with state of the art and technol­ogical approa­ches for deve­loping such high-power laser sources. Paul Crump from Ferdinand-Braun-Institut and Joachim Hein from Schiller University Jena are the chairs of the full-day workshop.

Since April, the BMBF joint project HECMIR is funded with almost 1.5 million euros for a period of three years under the KMU-NetC programme. The project is coordi­nated by OpTecBB, the Berlin-Branden­burg Competence Network for Optical Technol­ogies. In addition to the Fried­rich Schiller Univer­sity Jena, Institute of Optics and Quantum Elec­tronics (IOQ), and the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (FBH) in Berlin, the two SMEs, Lastronics from Jena and Crystal from Berlin are involved. Asso­ciated partners are the Leibniz Institute for Crystal Growth (IKZ), Brilliance Fab Berlin and Jenoptik Diode Lab. (Source: FBH)

Links: Photonic Days Berlin Brandenburg 2018, Cluster Optik und Photonik, Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie GmbH • Workshop on High Energy Class Mid Infrared Lasers, OpTecBB e.V., Berlin, Germany

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