The Fraunhofer Technology Focus “Lasers und Optics” stands for innovation in laser-beam sources and high-quality optical components and systems. The team of experienced laser experts develops beam sources with tailor-made spatial, temporal and spectral properties and output capacities ranging from μW up to GW. The spectrum of laser beam sources reaches from diode lasers to fiber and solid-state lasers, from high-power cw lasers to ultra-short pulse lasers and from single-frequency systems to broadband tunable lasers.
Solid-state lasers, amplifiers and high power fiber laser systems
In the case of solid-state lasers, Fraunhofer ILT and Fraunhofer IOF concentrate on developing both oscillators and amplifier systems with excellent power data. Whether laser manufacturers or users, the customers receive not only tailor-made prototypes for their individual needs, but are also consulted on optimizing existing systems. Particularly in the field of short-pulse lasers and broadband amplifiers, the institutes can provide numerous patents and have set record values as a reference.
Fraunhofer ILT concentrates mainly on slab and disk laser-based amplifiers, which can be scaled up to the multi-KW range. Fraunhofer IOF, on the other hand, develops high-power fiber laser systems ranging from single frequency beam sources to ultra-short pulse systems and provides diffraction-limited output beams up to the multi-kW range. The Fraunhofer IOF covers the entire process chain from fiber design, preform and fiber production, system integration all the way to the integration into application.
Furthermore, the institutes offer technological solutions for beam shaping and beam guidance, frequency conversion, the packaging of optical high-performance components and the design of optical components. The experts also specialize in designing highly efficient free-form optics. The lasers and optics developed by these institutes can be applied in fields ranging from laser materials processing and measurement technology to lighting applications and medical technology all the way to basic research.
In addition to developing lasers with high average power and short pulses, the institutes also focus on generating any desired wavelengths through non-linear optical frequency conversion. Non-linear optical materials are characterized by the fact that, when they are placed under intense laser radiation, processes occur in them that produce light with new wavelengths. These include frequency doubling, sum and difference frequency generation and optical parametric generation. These processes are primarily used to generate wavelengths for which there are no suitable laser materials or to generate tunable laser light from a fixed-frequency pump laser.