Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB

Laser Technology (LAS)

Laser Technology (LAS)

The new Department of Laser Technology (LAS) created in 2018 is devoted to research and development of specific photonic materials and components, related laser sources and non-linear converters for the development and optimization of laser systems in the NIR, SWIR, MWIR and LWIR spectral range, focussing on the specific demands posed by optronic applications.

Based on our competences in rare-earth (e.g. Erbium Er3+, Thulium Tm3+, Holmium Ho3+) and transition-metal (Chromium Cr2+) doped laser materials and source architectures, we develop SWIR and MWIR solid-state and fiber lasers and related components. These lasers can be used as direct emitters in typical applications like communication, illumination and metrology or are optimized for pumping non-linear converters.

 

 

 
Test arrangement for Holmium-doped fiber laser   Non-linear conversion crystals for MWIR and LWIR applications

 

 

Experimental activities are in high-power cw and pulsed 2 µm fiber lasers, components and architectures, pulsed 1.6 µm and 2.1 µm high-pulse-energy solid-state lasers and direct-emitting MWIR fiber lasers. Novel components are being developed, implemented and tested in laboratory setups to enable power scaling and adding functionality to new laser systems. They include fiber couplers and spliced components for SWIR and MWIR fibers, novel laser materials and resonator geometries.

Based upon our laser sources we investigate non-linear converter materials and develop and optimize architectures for MWIR and LWIR sources with specifically adapted properties for optronic applications.

Theoretical work is related to modelling of complex laser dynamics and novel resonator schemes for enhanced beam quality operation of high-average-power lasers and non-linear converters.

Being available to the other departments at IOSB, the novel sources developed by LAS enable further research, development and expertise in Optronics and Photonics applications like performance evaluation of passive and active optronic sensors and protection at IOSB.

 

Projects

• 1.6 µm Erbium lasers, e.g. for ranging and gated viewing

• 2 µm Thulium and Holmium fiber lasers in continuous wave and pulsed regimes

• 2.1 µm solid-state lasers with scaled pulse energy

• 3.9 µm Holmium-based fiber lasers

• Non-linear converters in the MWIR and LWIR spectral range based on solid-state and fiber non-linear materials

• Analytical and numerical modeling and experimental verification of laser dynamics and resonator performance