Advanced Technological Process for Producing Tapered Active Fiber Lasers
The development of faster, more efficient automated manufacturing technologies is a crucial requirement to realisation of the 4th industrial revolution, known as Industry 4.0 technologies.
Ultrafast high-power lasers provide the opportunity for industry to perform processes at speeds unimaginable with traditional cutting, welding and drilling techniques. However, the complexity and cost of these high-power systems is a major barrier to their widespread industrial adoption.
By developing a new technique to fabricate tapered optical fibers the PULSE project has reached a key technological milestone by demonstrating 500W of average output power from a single tapered fiber laser. This doubling of the power-scaling record using a tapered amplifier sets the scene for the development of the highly efficient and cost-effective kW level pulsed lasers needed for many advanced manufacturing processes such as cutting and welding.
The short-pulsed amplifier assembly with average output power of over 500 W was developed by Ampliconyx Oy (Finland), Ceram Optec Sia (Latvia) and Tampere University. The amplifier is based on an active tapered fiber and the kW-level multiplexer developed earlier in the project.
Furthermore, by using a short pulsed seed laser the partners were able to confirm the negligible non-linear effects which are a key benefit of the design when amplifying pulsed signals and has previously hindered the development of high-power pulsed fiber lasers.
The results are an output from the PULSE research and innovation project funded the EU H2020 programme and made up of partners from six countries:
- United Kingdom (Aston University and Modus Research and Innovation Limited);
- Finland (AMPLICONYX OY);
- Germany (LUNOVU Gmbh and Hochschule Mittweida);
- Greece (Nanotypos OE, Foundation for Research and Technology HELLAS, and Prime Laser Technology);
- Italy (Centro Richerche Fiat SCPA and Onostampi SRL);
- Latvia (Ceram Optec Sia)
The PULSE project is an initiative of the Photonics Public Private Partnership, www.photonics21.org.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824996.
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.
Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.
Seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that research is an investment in our future and so put it at the heart of the EU’s blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs.
This communication reflects only the author's view and the EC is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Research Project Innovation Manager