LIFT – Leadership In Fiber Laser Technology – concludes with a review of its successes

LIFT – Leadership In Fiber Laser Technology – is a collaborative project which had its final and successful review in September after four years of ground breaking engineering.

LIFT was a large-scale integrated 16 Million Euro project funded by the NMP Directorate in the 7th Framework Program of the European Commission. The project objective was to expand the limits of advanced materials processing applications through a new generation of high-brilliance fiber-based lasers, new components and delivery systems.

Gooch & Housego contributed to all areas of research and development and lead the Component and System Reliability work. A range of cutting-edge, high performance components were developed by G&H, some of which are described below.

A new modulator was required for an “all-in-fiber” nanosecond pulsed system with high peak power, variable repetition rates and pulse widths and flat-top beam profile A high power acousto-optic modulator (AOM) with 30 ns rise-time, 5 W power handling and extinction ratio 50 dB was developed. This represents a step-change improvement in performance. It allows for manipulation of the laser pulses at an intermediate stage of amplification, giving greater control over the output of the laser system.

This system also needed new high performance isolators. Fiber-In-Beam-Out (FIBO) isolators capable of handling 100W CW laser power were developed by G&H for system use in the demonstrator. Isolators represent a significant extension of G&H’s portfolio of laser components and demonstrate how the company is able to provide innovative solutions in reaction to market needs. Good beam quality and thermal lensing performance have been measured under stretching conditions by LIFT partners SPI Lasers. As an extension and complementary to this work G&H have developed Fiber-In-Fiber-Out (FIFO) isolators. These have been tested to in excess of 30W CW with loss<0.5dB and low PDL and with exciting prospects of further development for future pulsed laser systems.

For a new high brilliance CW yellow fiber laser, used in medical applications G&H, with support from Quantel, worked on the packaging of the SHG stage with all the requested functionalities for medical or scientific devices. The objective was to build it as a compact, robust and efficient component. This FIFO SHG yellow module uses a non-linear crystal.

Click here to watch LIFT video demonstrations of products and processes which have come out of LIFT.

For more information on FIBO, FIFO and other enabling fiber optic solutions contact Toby Reid, here or on +44 1803 407807.