This project is an initiative of the Photonics Public Private Partnership and has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825246

© 2019 kW-flexiburst

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Project Partners

The kW-flexiburst consortium is made up of 7 partners from across Europe.

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - FEMTO-ST (CNRS)

CNRS is a French national center for fundamental and applied scientific research. It hires approximately 32 000 people and has a total budget exceeding 3 billion euros. The research covered by CNRS encompasses all fields from human sciences to mathematics, biology or engineering. 21 Nobel and 12 Field medal laureates are members of laboratories funded bv CNRS.

The project will be realised at FEMTO-ST Institute (http://www.femto-st.fr/en/), which is funded jointly by CNRS and University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté. The research carried out at FEMTO-ST covers all engineering sciences: photonics, mechanics, energy, automatics, informatics and nanotechnology. FEMTO-ST is the largest CNRS-funded institute in France for engineering, with 750 people. The Optics department is internationally recognised for several broad themes in photonics: non-linear optics, nano-optics, nonlinear dynamics, optoelectronics and ultrafast laser materials processing, the latter 3 themes are integrated within the OPTO team led by Prof John M. Dudley.

A key element in the research developed at FEMTO-ST dealing with ultrafast laser processing is the expertise in beam shaping. Our developments using spatial light modulators and numerical modelling allowed FEMTO-ST to create a new paradigm is laser processing where the ablation of transparent materials is first seen as energy deposition in the materials bulk. FEMTO-ST is a recognised leader in beam shaping for so called non-diffracting Bessel beams and accelerating beams, which respectively enable highly controlled energy deposition along lines and curved paths. Dr Francois Courvoisier, who developed this topic since 2008 was awarded the Aimé Cotton prize of the French Physical Society (SFP) in 2015 and an ERC consolidator grant, PULSAR, the same year. The latter project aims at understanding the fundamentals of laser-plasma interaction to develop faster laser processing technologies.

Collaborators:

François Courvoisier

Aurélie Sabanovic 

Universität Stuttgart (USTUTT)

The University of Stuttgart was founded in 1829, at the beginning of the industrial age in Europe, and celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2004. The cooperation between technical, physical and human sciences has always been an advantage of the University of Stuttgart. Today the university is a modern, achievement-orientated institution with a comprehensive range of subjects and a focus on technical and physical disciplines. The 130 mio. Euro annual third party funding shows that the university is a popular partner for European and German, federal and private organisations and the economy. 4,000 employees work in over 150 institutes, 10 faculties and in central institutions; this makes the University of Stuttgart one of the greatest employers of the region. Currently, 28,000 students are registered, 1,700 students graduate every year and start their careers. Additionally, about 150 trainees from many different branches train for their jobs here. They become mechanics, mathematic-technical assistant and many other trades - in the workshops and laboratories of the university.  

The Institut für Strahlwerkzeuge (IFSW) of the Universität Stuttgart, founded in 1986, is reputed as one of the leading laser research centers worldwide. Its strength is based on a holistic research approach covering every aspect from laser sources to their applications and ranging from fundamental investigations to industrial technology transfer. The main activities at the IFSW are currently concerned with selected topics in the fields of laser beam sources (especially the thin-disk laser), optical elements and components for beam delivery and beam shaping as well as fundamental investigations on the light-matter interaction with the subsequent process development of macro and micro applications for industrial manufacturing.  

A significant core research area at the USTUTT is devoted to fundamental investigations on diode-pumped solid-state lasers (mainly thin-disk lasers). Current efforts concentrate on the reliable generation of radiation with high beam quality and the power scalability of lasers in all modes of operation (cw, Q-switched, mode locked) of oscillators as well as for amplifiers. Strongly related to the research on high-power lasers the USTUTT also develops novel optical elements for the polarisation and the spectral control (polarisation and wavelength selective devices as well as highly efficient pulse compressor gratings) of laser radiations. Within the core research area on laser-based Process Development the knowledge on fundamentals gained in the continuous research on the interaction between laser beams and matter is exploited for the development of novel laser-based manufacturing technologies. 

Collaborators:

Marwan Abdou Ahmed

Spectra-Physics Rankweil (SPR)

Spectra-Physics was founded over 55 years ago as the first commercial laser company delivering breakthrough technologies that transform the way businesses operate and people live ever since. Still today it is one of the leading global suppliers of laser systems, covering the whole pulse duration range from nanosecond to sub-10 fs. It has a global presence with 16 manufacturing locations and an international network of direct sales & service support offices.

Spectra-Physics is singularly focused on helping its customers use precision laser technologies to advance leading edge science and propel industries forward. The company does so by offering ground-breaking technologies, deep applications expertise, disruptive cost-performance, a commitment to world-class customer experience, and the highest standards for operational excellence and continuous global improvement. Additionally, the combination of unique production processes and designs backed up with extensive and experienced service network enables them to offer truly 24/7 operating laser systems.

The Rankweil facility in Austria was founded as High Q Laser GmbH and since 2011 is a part of Spectra-Physics/ Newport-MKS corporation USA, where picosecond and femtosecond lasers for demanding applications in medicine, science and industry are developed and manufactured. They maintain 70 clean room assembly stations with a total capacity of more than 600 lasers per year. A mechanical workshop for rapid prototyping allows for a quick turnaround time during development. More than 20 R&D engineers constantly work on the development of new products as well as the enhancement of existing products relying on both fiber and bulk laser technologies to ensure the best performance. All their systems are based on their proprietary SESAM (SEmiconductor Saturable Absorber Mirror) technology for passive mode-locking and cover the range from low-power systems in the Watt-level up to 100 W and more.

Collaborators:

Jürg Aus der Au

Universite de Bordeaux (UBx)

The University of Bordeaux (UBx) is a multidisciplinary, research-focused and international university which is ranked among the top French universities for the quality of its academic courses and research. In 2011, UBx was rewarded by the French government for its overall campus strategy for excellence and was one of only three French universities in 2016 to obtain confirmation of this Excellence program. Via this Excellence program (25M€/year), UBx develops innovative training, research and knowledge transfer programs in numerous fields of excellence and in partnership with other educational institutions in Bordeaux.  

UBx is a leading education and research organisation (#top200 in the 2017 Shanghai ranking and # 3 in France), and counts about 53 000 students (including 6.200 as international students) and 5.600 staff (including 4,000 as academic and research staff).  Its cutting-edge research activities are carried out in 74 research departments associated with major research bodies (CNRS, CEA, INSERM and INRA). UBx offers high level of research with an international scope: 19 international research laboratories, 2 cross-border joint laboratories as well as one international joint research unit. It has participated in 163 EU collaborative projects (H2020, FP7, Interreg), Over the past 10 years, it has developed a strong experience in coordinating EU projects (more than 70 as coordinator: 52 FP7/H2020; 20 Education), and has a dedicated team of EU project managers for coordinating transnational R&I projects.

The Center for Intense Lasers and Applications (CELIA) is a joint research unit (UMR5107) in partnership with Bordeaux University, the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and the National Scientific Research Center (CNRS). CELIA offers an outstanding opportunity to gather expertise in Laser Physics, Strong Field or Ultra-High Intensity Physics (UHI) and Inertial Fusion for Energy (IFE). Indeed, CELIA missions are two-fold. On the one hand, CELIA pursues high-field high average power laser research based on new technologies and second, investigate the generation of secondary sources such as coherent visible or XUV radiation, incoherent X-rays, tunable infrared laser light as well as ultrashort pulses (fs and ps in the visible/IR and attosecond in the XUV). On the other hand, CELIA investigates laser-matter interaction and applications.  

The group of Prof. Cormier has developed along the years a wide expertise covering high power fiber lasers, generation and amplification of ultrashort pulses from bulk lasers, few-cycle and midIR pulses from optical parametric amplification (OPCPA). In particular, the group had pioneered the development of chirped pulse amplifiers (CPA) based on rod-type fibers and achieved the first demonstration of high order harmonic generation in gaseous medium at MHz repetition rates. The group has also pioneered the development of high power (100 W) ultra-high brightness sources at 976 nm based on Yb-doped fiber opening the way to high brightness pumping of Yb materials. The later has led to the demonstration of record breaking fs pulse durations (30 fs) and average power from an Yb-doped solid-state oscillator. More recently, Prof. Cormier’s group at CELIA in collaboration with the group of Dr. Giorgio Santarelli at LP2N have developed the novel technology of synthetic frequency combs leading to the production of picosecond pulses at tunable GHz repetition rates of prime interest in the present proposal. LP2N is a Joined Research Unit (JRU 5298) between Institut d’Optique Graduate School (IOGS), University of Bordeaux and CNRS. It has been created on January 1st 2011. It forms one of the elements of the Bordeaux site of the IOGS within the Institut d’Optique d’Aquitaine, where training, research and innovation coexist. Its research concentrates around complex systems integrating optics and computer science. LP2N, which gathers almost 80 people in 2018, is a young, dynamic structure already rewarded several times. It is involved in several large national and international projects.  

The “Industrial partnership, metrology and photonic systems” research axis lead by Giorgio Santarelli aims to explore new photonic systems with high metrological performances or novel functionalities, such as smart sensors or laser systems. In this group, Giorgio Santarelli has a long-standing experience in precise measurements, high-end optoelectronics and instrumentation frequency metrology in stable and agile laser systems. Since 2014 Giorgio Santarelli established at LP2N a partnership for high-power low-noise lasers, which involves close industry/academia collaboration on innovative research. In this framework a shared lab with an industrial leader in high power fibre laser development (Azur Light Systems in Péssac) has been created with the support of the ANR LabCom program and the Conseil Regional d’Aquitaine.

Collaborators:

Eric Cormier

Giorgio Santarelli

GFH GmbH (GFH)

GFH GmbH has more than 10 years of experience in specialised machine building and since 2008, it offers a portfolio of laser micromachining workstations. The workstations are used for processing various materials and a range of applications including micro-drilling, micro-structuring, simultaneous five-axes-machining and a combination of a rotating, angled beam with CNC-movement for flexible adjustment of cut width. A focus of the development activities lies in the R&D of manufacturing processes and its transfer and realisation in innovative systems for machining. This includes hard- and software to control the beam and component movement and the development of efficient machining strategies for ablation, micro-structuring and precision drilling. GFH also runs a precision manufacturing department for small batch, prototype and serial production as well as feasibility studies and customer application demonstration. GFH has participated in several R&D projects Europe-wide as well as national and has extended its expertise with these projects. Currently, GFH is involved in three nationally funded projects researching the use of frequency-flexible ultrashort pulse lasers, the extension of system control functions integrating fast redundant optical axes and the ablation of sealing structures including online control.

Collaborators:

Roswitha Giedl-Wagner

Anton Pauli

Daetwyler Graphics Precision (DG)

Daetwyler Graphics AG, Switzerland, is developer and manufacturer of machines and systems for mechanical surface processing and engraving of rotogravure and embossing cylinders which are used in printing and packaging industry and for technical (functional) applications. DG was founded in 2009, emerging from the original company MDC Max Daetwyler AG and is today member of the Heliograph Holding, Krailing (D). At its company headquarter in Bleienbach, Switzerland, Daetwyler Graphics employs a workforce of around 60 ambitious employees. Daetwyler steadily and gradually established itself in industrial graphics business from 1965 onwards. Many active cooperations with several research institutes in Switzerland, Europe and worldwide lead to an efficient and continuous implementation of new technologies in industrial products.

DG offers the development, production and integration of complete fully-automated production lines for gravure, embossing and technical cylinders. This includes several machine solutions for direct laser engraving by laser ablation. Printing factories, gravure and embossing houses are customers of DG.  

Staff of Daetwyler Graphics AG has over 25 years of experience in laser processing of materials. This includes the development of appropriate laser resonators (if not available on the laser market) as well as the development of modulation and beam shaping methods for the precisely controlled micro-ablation of metals, polymers and ceramics on gravure cylinders or technical rollers. The Daetwyler Direct Laser Engraving System (DLS) is used on illustration gravure market as well as in the field of packaging and offers important technical and economic advantages to rotogravure and to surface functionalization. The DLS system has been granted by multiple awards (GAA Golden Cylinder Award, GATF InterTech Award, ERA Innovation Award, AKL – Innovation Prize 2002).

Recent outstanding technical solutions from DG for beam delivery and laser beam modulation are:  

1. a polygon based scanning unit with 2000 m/s focus movement over a field of 500 mm length for a digital printing head enabling the direct laser induced forward transfer of ink;

2. power modulation and intensity profile modulation by an intensity profile synthesizer, capable to change the laser beam profile from the Gaussian to Top-hat distribution on the fly within microseconds (from laser pulse to laser pulse at repetition rates up to 150 kHz);

3. Ultrafast modulation of a high-power laser beam: 300 W cw, modulated @ 20 MHz rate.

Based on the experience in machine building, laser beam delivery and process development for laser manufacturing methods DG is able to transfer the scientific and technical results of the proposal into new industrial products.

Collaborators:

Guido Hennig

Modus Research and Innovation Limited (MODUS)

MODUS Research and Innovation is a not for profit company with the objective facilitating collaborative research and innovation across the academic and business sectors. As an intermediary operating in the market space between business and academia, MODUS interacts with many R&D based businesses as well as Universities and Research Institutes. MODUS offers expertise in the maximising the impact of H2020 research and innovation projects through support for the dissemination and exploitation activities at the project level.  

As robust dissemination and exploitation strategies are an integral part of research and innovation MODUS supports consortia in setting and achieving dissemination and exploitation objectives and undertakes to lead the project exploitation planning process. Using a specific methodology for collaborative research projects MODUS systematically guides consortia in identifying and prioritising the best exploitation opportunities for their project and supports the development of a project and partner level IP strategy which aligns the projects results and deliverables with the demands and opportunities of the market. To facilitate widespread dissemination MODUS develops tailor-made dissemination kits that meet the requirements of the consortium and project stakeholders. Overall MODUS builds onto the strengths of the scientific and research activities within a project and delivers a professional service which supports the participants to maximise the benefits of the project results. 

Collaborators:

Alison McLeod