joint project information
Ultrashort and highly precise –
the new dimension of laser materials processing
Ultrashort laser pulses with a duration of a several femtoseconds (1 fs = 10−15 s) up to a few picoseconds (1 ps = 10−12 s) allow for completely new machining approaches impossible by applying conventional tools. In the field of medicine absolutely new therapy opportunities can be established, for example highly precise cuts with minimal damage inside the human eye. A significant feature of these laser pulses are the extremely high peak intensities, which can be achieved even with very low pulse energies due to the high temporal confinement. This enables a very precise material ablation as well as the processing of thermally sensitive materials without any thermal damage. In photovoltaics this high-precision processing leads to more efficient solar cells, and the yield per wafer increases for the fabrication of LEDs or computer chips. Much more efficient and inexpensive treatments are possible in cataract therapy, one of the most frequent surgeries performed worldwide. Novel ways to treat presbyopia using ultrashort laser pulses seriously compete with the well-established reading glasses. The challenge now is to use the leading position of German companies to take the necessary next steps to explore the full potential of ultrashort laser pulses. This includes the development of innovative, inexpensive and powerful laser concepts, long term stable optical components as well as highly dynamic beam control and shaping. The partners of the research alliance „Ultra¬short pulses lasers for high precision processing” meet this challenge. They are supported with approximately 20 Mio. Euro by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within nine joint research projects.