Optical components and devices
with high lifetimes
for ultrashort pulse laser systems


Highest peak powers require
resistant components

Decrea­sing the pulse dura­tion leads to an increase in peak power for a given pulse energy. Accord­in­gly, the maxi­mum load of opti­cal com­pon­ents is reached very fast and the various optics used, like opti­cal crystals, mir­rors and dif­frac­tion gra­tings, may have to be exch­an­ged fre­quently. The main goal of the joint rese­arch pro­ject Ultra-LIFE is to inves­ti­gate opti­ons for increa­sing the per­for­mance of these opti­cal com­pon­ents. One cri­ti­cal point is of course the mate­rial its­elf which has to be trans­mit­ted by the laser beam. Addi­tio­nally, the sur­face of the opti­cal com­pon­ents plays an important role. Even smal­lest impu­ri­ties could be the ori­gin for damage. Howe­ver, the mate­ri­als used are only partly sui­ted for high qua­lity poli­shing. The­re­fore, the use of new crystal­line mate­ri­als toge­ther with an opti­mi­zed sur­face tre­at­ment could raise the sur­face qua­lity and thus the damage thres­hold signi­fi­cantly. A fur­t­her enhan­ce­ment could be achie­ved by spe­cial anti-reflec­tion coa­tings or sur­face struc­tures. The same holds true for dif­frac­tion gra­tings. Sui­ta­ble pro­ces­ses have to be deve­lo­ped for gene­ra­ting defect free sur­faces fol­lo­wed by appro­priate coa­ting pro­ces­ses.

New optical crystals and coatings for high power lasers

Wit­hin the joint rese­arch pro­ject new mate­ri­als for non­linear opti­cal crystals as well as new pro­ces­ses for the manu­fac­tu­ring of dif­frac­tion gra­tings are inves­ti­ga­ted. In addi­tion, dif­fe­rent tech­ni­ques for sur­face tre­at­ment and coa­ting are stu­died. For example plasma ion assisted vapor depo­si­tion, magne­tron sput­te­ring and ion beam sput­ter pro­ces­ses are stu­died and com­pa­red. To find sui­ta­ble com­bi­na­ti­ons of coa­ting mate­rial, for example ternary oxi­des, coa­ting pro­ce­dure, layer struc­ture and pro­cess para­me­ters is a huge chal­lenge because it has to be opti­mi­zed for each com­po­nent indi­vi­dually. The indi­vi­dual exper­tise of the pro­ject part­ners in one or several of these rese­arch fields will help to rea­lize opti­cal com­pon­ents and devices with a dou­bled per­for­mance com­pa­red to exis­ting solu­ti­ons.

This rese­arch pro­ject will thus help to esta­blish the ultras­hort pulse laser tech­no­logy in dif­fe­rent fields of app­li­ca­tion, like the pro­duc­tion of bio­com­pa­ti­ble implants or the struc­tu­ring of solar cells, where the high main­ten­ance costs are pre­ven­ting their use at the moment.


Dr. Alexandre Gatto

Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH

Carl-Zeiss-Promenade 10

07745 Jena

phone: +49 (3641) 643851

E-Mail: a.gatto@zeiss.de


4.7 Mio. € (ca. 46.1% funding by BMBF)


1.10.2012 — 30.9.2015


Gefördert vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung Teil des Photonik Forschung Deutschland-Programms