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Cluster Report Photonics in the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg

  • Text
  • Imaging
  • Photonics
  • Berlin
  • Optical
  • Laser
  • Technologies
  • Optics
  • Microsystems
  • Components
  • Brandenburg

5.1.1 Laser Technology

5.1.1 Laser Technology The world’s most versatile tool Eberhard Stens, Gerrit Rössler, Kai Kolwitz Can light help to distinguish spoiled from fresh meat? Most certainly: With the help of a handy scanner that immediately reveals in the slaughterhouse or in cold storage whether the objects to be tested still meet the food guidelines. Meat materially changes as it ages and laser spectroscopic methods can make that visible. “FreshScan” is just one example of the wealth of applications that are laser technology made in Berlin-Brandenburg has tapped into in recent years. Involved are the Institute of Optics and Atomic Physics of the TU Berlin, the Ferdinand-Braun-Institute, Leibniz- Institute for Highest Frequency Technology (FBH), the Fraunhofer-Institute for Reliability and Micro Integration (IZM), and several other research institutions in Berlin and Brandenburg. New sources, new applications When it comes to research on and with lasers in the region, then many threads come together at the FBH. With its 230 employees, the institute researches electronic components on semiconductor basis and develops powerful and highly brilliant diode lasers, hybrid laser systems, gallium nitride lasers and UV LEDs. Novel laser source delivers ns pulses with customized length and repetition frequency © FBH FreshScan hand scanner for monitoring freshness level of food © Fraunhofer IZM For the assessment of meat, the researchers devised a combination of Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy. Raman spectroscopy uses a specially developed optical system, in which a red-emitting diode is integrated. The scattered Raman-Stokes photons are fiber-optically detected in an evaluation unit and statistically analyzed in a PC. In fluorescence spectroscopy, meat is irradiated with a blue spectral range laser and the results are evaluated in a similar manner. The research by the staff of the “FreshScan” project was done at first using pork. However, they are convinced that the process can be extended to many other food types. For applications, for example, in material- or bio-analytics, material processing, free space optical communication or metrology, the FBH develops powerful nanosecond laser light sources in a butterfly module. They were the first world-wide to integrate profit-switched 1,064 nm DFB laser diodes with integrated control electronics into this type of chassis. Through special assembly and extensive circuit know-how, a compact source was created that can produce customized ns-pulse sequences ranging from 10 MHz down to single pulses. Diode lasers of any wavelength can be mounted in the module. Another example of research activities at the FBH are diode lasers as pump sources for the generation of coherent UV and X-rays. Diode-pumped short-pulse laser with extremely high peak powers are important tools for industry and research. Besides their application in generation of coherent UV and X-rays, they are usedin micromachining, for example. A novel compact ultrashort-pulse high power laser with high pulse repetition frequency > 100 Hz is currently being developed in collaboration between the FBH and the Max-Born-Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI). The FBH designed, together with Jenoptik, a novel pump module on the basis of high-efficiency 937 nm diode lasers. 38

5.1.1 Laser Technology The Institute of Optics and Atomic Physics of the TU Berlin (IOAP) works on a broad range of topics. Besides the above-mentioned laser spectroscopy, this includes laser molecular spectroscopy, environmental physics, or light-matter interaction in intense laser fields. The TU also does research in the field of laser-based materials processing. This concerns, for example, antireflective coating of the end faces of optical fibers used for construction of fiber lasers and for transmitting high laser powers. Diode lasers from the FBH as pump sources for generating coherent UV and X-ray radiation © FBH/ In the working group Optical Technologies, innovative optical methods for information storage, sensing and security applications and being developed in the context of national and European cooperation. A focus is the development of novel methods for nanoand micro-structuring of suitable optical materials, including the investigation and modeling of fundamental phenomena of lightmatter interaction. Since many years, the MBI, like the FBH located in the Science and Technology Park Adlershof, is a worldwide leader in the field of picosecond lasers with high pulse energy and repetition rate, i.e. high average power. These systems can be fired more than a hundred times per second thanks to an innovative, highly efficient cooling of the laser material. To increase the average power of these lasers even further, the MBI scientists want to especially increase the energy of individual pulses, initially to a few joules, and later probably a lot more. Such lasers would then have an average power in the kilowatt range with pulse durations of picoseconds and very high single pulse energy, which is as yet unmatched by any laser. Urgently needed are such laser powerhouses, for example, as the technological basis for the European large project ELI. The acronym stands for Extreme Light Infrastructure, the world's future most powerful laser for basic research. Initial designs for the front end of a 10-petawatt laser, demonstrator for the ELI project, are already completed. Laser system for structuring in submicrometer range at the working group Optical Technologies © TU Berlin The University of Potsdam also does research in laser technology. The field of Photonics focuses on non-linear laser spectroscopy. It also works both on high power solid state lasers, and the development of broadband short-pulse lasers for interferometry, as well as to improve the beam quality of laser diodes. On the trail of basics Mirror system of a pulsed high-power laser amplifier © Max-Born-Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI) The Fraunhofer-Institute for Applied Polymer Research (IAP) in Potsdam-Golm wants to basically reinvent the laser - as solid-state laser made from organic polymers. The Paul Drude Institute for Solid State Electronics looks even further into the future: It researches the principles of quantum cascade lasers. 39

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