INSTITUTE OF APPLIED PHYSICS - Consistency of success

Consistency of success

Another four PhD students receive "Best Student Paper Awards" in San Francisco

It is astonishing that four of our PhD students again received the "Best Student Paper Award" at "SPIE.LASE 2019" - the most important conference for laser technologies - for their contributions to the sub-conferences "Fiber Lasers XV: Technology and Systems" and "Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics".

2019 PW Preisträger AG Limpert_small
Laureate of the sub-conference "Fiber Lasers: Technology and Systems". From left to right: T. Heuermann, M. Müller, H. Stark [Photo: IAP]

As every year, this conference takes place within the framework of the world's largest event focusing on optics, photonics and image processing engineering "SPIE. Photonics West" in San Francisco and attracts more than 20,000 visitors.
And as early as a year ago, three winners came from the working group "Fiber and Waveguide Lasers" around Prof. Jens Limpert and one from "Ultrafast Optics" by Prof. Stefan Nolte. Michael Müller succeeded in repeating his success of 2018 and took first to third place with his colleagues Henning Stark and Tobias Heuermann at the sub-conference "Fiber Lasers: Technology and Systems". Mr. Stark's contribution dealt with an electro-optically controlled pulse energy scaling technique that was implemented in a space-saving multi-channel high-power fiber laser system and achieved a record energy of 23mJ. Michael Müller presents a coherently-combined ultrafast fiber laser system with an average power of 3.5 kW (currently the highest average power of such a fiber laser system!) with fully automated self-adjustment and close-to-diffraction-limited beam quality. Tobias Heuermann developed a thulium-doped nonlinear fiber amplifier which, with its unique combination of laser parameters and compactness, could represent an interesting technology for access to the molecular fingerprint area.
Maximilian Heck was victorious in the sub-conference "Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics" with his contribution in which he presented a new approach to customized mode-selective glass fiber gratings. It was shown that with a long-periodic grating written by femtoseconds it is possible to precisely control and adapt the coupling to coated modes. This enables a completely new design of possible fiber-integrated components such as mode converters, sensor elements and transmission filters.

2019 PW Sieger FrontierinOptics
Award winner M. Heck (front left) with working group leader Prof. S. Nolte (left) and IAP colleague T. Goebel (bottom right). [Photo: SPIE]

Among the winners of the "Photonics Performance Center" also is Dr. Erik Beckert from the Fraunhofer IOF -he won the "Best Paper Award" of the sub-conference "Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics" for a paper describing a process for large area inkjet printing of microlens arrays for lighting applications.
Institute director Prof. Andreas Tünnermann congratulated his colleagues on their great success and sees the awards as impressive proof of the excellence in research in both institutes. Prof. Jens Limpert underlines the quality of the work in connection with the strong competition of the competitors and draws from it highest incentive to the coming years.
Maximilian Heck, scholarship holder of The International Research Training Group GRK2101, sees it this way: "It is always a lot of fun to present my work to an expert audience at such a large and renowned conference in the field of optics. As a young scientist this offers a great opportunity for a subject-related exchange with other experts. I am very grateful that this was made possible for me".
The awarded research works were carried out within the framework of the "Performance Center Photonics", a joint initiative of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Leibniz Institutes HKI and IPHT as well as the Helmholtz Institute Jena. Here, new solutions with light are being researched, for example for applications in information and communication technology, production, the automotive industry and aerospace.

And these are the laureates and their research topics

Best Student Paper Awards:
Henning Stark: »High-power electro-optically controlled divided-pulse amplification«
The pulse-energy-scaling technique "electro-optically controlled divided-pulse amplification" is implemented in a multi-channel high-power fiber laser system. A burst of 8 stretched femtosecond pulses is amplified and coherently combined into a laser pulse with a record energy of 23mJ. Occurring gain saturation is successfully counteracted by exploiting the degrees of freedom accessible in the fiber frontend. Furthermore, the system features a small-footprint using three customized multi-pass cells for the optical delay lines.
Michael Müller: »3.5kW coherently combined ultrafast fiber laser«
A coherently-combined ultrafast fiber laser system consisting of four amplifier channels delivers femtosecond pulses with 3.5 kW average power and a close-to-diffraction-limited beam quality. The system incorporates a fully automated self-adjustment of the beam combination, allowing for a quasi-turn-key operation of the system. Currently, this system delivers the highest average power reported from an ultrafast laser.
Tobias Heuermann: »High-power ultrafast Thulium-doped fiber lasers for the generation of mid-infrared radiation in the molecular fingerprint region«
Accessing the molecular fingerprint region with Thulium doped fiber lasers relieves limitations for the conversion in the wavelength region beyond 5µm, where important molecules for environmental monitoring and medical applications feature major absorption bands. In a proof of concept experiment, utilizing parametric down-conversion, half a watt of mid-IR power in the wavelength region from 7.2µm - 16.5µm was generated. Based on these results a Tm-doped nonlinear fiber amplifier was developed, whose unique combination of laser parameters and compactness could make it an enabling technology for accessing the molecular fingerprint region.
Maximilian Heck: »Next generation of tailored mode selective transmission gratings for fiber integrated devices«
A new approach for tailor-made mode-selective glass fiber gratings. With a fs-laser written long-periodic grating it is possible to control precisely and adapt the coupling to guided cladding modes in an optical fiber.

2019 PW Erik Beckert_small
Prizewinner Dr. Erik Beckert. [Photo: SPIE]

Best Paper Award:

Dr. Erik Beckert (Fraunhofer IOF):
»Inkjet printing of microlens arrays on large, lithographic structured substrates«

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News from: 15.02.2019 09:03
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