HiLASE - HiLASE: New Lasers for Industry and Research


Hosting institution: Institute of Physics of the CAS
Provider: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
Project title: HiLASE: New Lasers for Industry and Research
Acronym: HiLASE
LI's code: LM2015086
Responsible person: Tomáš Mocek
Time period: 1/1/2016 - 31/12/2019
Total costs: 36,950,000 CZK
Website: http://www.hilase.cz/en

Background description

HiLASE represents excellent technological infrastructure in the field of laser research and development at the European level. The “next generation” laser technology is based on highly efficient Diode Pumped Solid State Laser (DPSSL) amplifiers. One amplifier concept utilizes a thin-disk on a heatsink as the laser active medium, while in the other one we use a cryogenically cooled multi-slab architecture. In both types of the amplifier design, DPSSL technology brings a unique combination of high average power, high pulse repetition rate and high efficiency. The only way to test durability and long term stability of an optical component is to measure precisely the value of Laser Induced Damage Threshold (LIDT) by exposing the same spot on the surface of the material to a large number of high power laser pulses and observing the occurrence of damage. The multi-purpose experimental station for laser-matter interaction at HiLASE will allow experiments relevant to LIDT process in the air or in a vacuum. Laser Shock Peening (LSP) is a progressive and very efficient surface enhancement process which is used to increase the resistance of metals to surface-related failures, such as fatigue, fretting fatigue and stress corrosion cracking. The LSP station equipped with a robotic arm will allow surface processing of materials according to industrial standards. Over the last 3 years since the HiLASE project launch, cooperation with more than 10 top foreign research organisations has been started in specific areas relevant to DPSSL’s  development and its applications.

Future development

In order to significantly extend its application potential HiLASE will focus primarily on development of pulsed multi-kW thin-disk DPSSL systems for industrial and scientific applications, which will lead to efficient generation of THz waves with picosecond pulse length and high average power, and/or compact bright EUV radiation source for metrology, lithography and micro-processing. Further development and optimization of the 100J/10Hz laser system will be accompanied by increasing the repetition rate up to 100 Hz for limited energy output, and with developing a short-pulse laser beam. Development of key technologies related to high repetition rate amplifiers and their applications will include a smart diagnostic system for LIDT station and setup for advanced processing and micro-machining methods.

Socio-economic impact

HiLASE includes a combination of various research fields such as material research or biomedical engineering with laser physics and development of laser technologies. Those linkages of experts with different scientific backgrounds have a great potential to lead to the establishment of completely new scientific fields as well as to extensive applications of laser technologies in industry.

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