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Laser output achievement elicits international interest

19 August 2009 News

The CSIR National Laser Centre recently achieved the highest published laser output values from a Tm:YLF slab laser, at 225 Watts, and the highest pulse energy from a fibre-pumped single frequency Ho:YLF laser. This development has resulted in international interest from a range of roleplayers and academia. Some of the applications of these lasers include environmental remote sensing and as a result of this achievement, single line-width lasers can now be used for better detection of pollutant gas species at larger distances in the atmosphere (higher ranges). In addition, greater efficiency in laser materials processing can be achieved with the laser power at these new wavelengths.

Dr Christoph Bollig, heading the centre’s laser systems capacity says, “Our laser source specialists demonstrated and evaluated these novel 2 micron laser sources as part of an advanced laser research programme. The specialists focused on the performance of different materials used in mid-infrared laser sources. We are proud of this accomplishment and, while our previous work has already made an international impact, this development will further illustrate the advanced level of laser studies being conducted at the CSIR National Laser Centre.”

CSIR laser specialist involved in this project, Cobus Jacobs, visited the NASA Langley Research Centre and presented the CSIR’s recent achievements to NASA’s 2 micron development group. World-renowned atmospheric scientist and lidar expert Dr Upendra Singh, who conducts similar research for space-based earth observation, led the NASA group. “They were quite impressed with the CSIR’s laser research. There is a large overlap in the work we do, and this visit was the first step in strengthening our research ties with one of the largest role-players in the industry,” says Jacobs. Dr Singh will also visit the CSIR in July 2009.

Further indicative of the worldwide attention elicited by this development, is laser source specialist Daniel Esser’s recent invited talk at the Middle-Infrared Coherent Sources Conference in France. Esser is also part of the CSIR’s advanced laser research programme. He says, “It was clear that even the international laser community holds our work in high esteem and I am confident that we will see some meaningful partnerships in the near future.”





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