The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. It undertakes directed research and development for socio-economic growth.

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Overview: Laser-based research and development at the CSIR

The CSIR provides a critical core of laser technology knowledge and expertise through the research, development and implementation of laser based technologies and applications in Africa. This knowledge, housed at the CSIR National Laser Centre, enables the South African industry to improve their global competitiveness and expand their market share. The CSIR National Laser Centre works closely with local higher education institutions and supports laser related research at these institutions.


The basics of laser physics
The laser is a light source that exhibits unique properties. Lasers dominate our modern world in a variety of forms ranging from tiny diode lasers in all CD and DVD players to large industrial lasers to cut and weld.

Current laser research at the CSIR
Current CSIR laser research aims to improve laser technology in manufacturing; to develop novel laser sources; to develop light activated bio-nanodevices and to improve various therapeutic and diagnostic medical applications of lasers.


Custodians of the national laser infrastructure
With administrative and financial support from the National Research Foundation (NRF), the CSIR runs an access grant scheme that makes unique laser equipment and diagnostics available to South African researchers in laser-related fields. This initiative is called the Rental Pool Programme.


Numerous highly equipped in-house laboratories are used by CSIR researchers to conduct research in multi-disciplinary fields such as nanotechnology, spectroscopy and laser beams. The facility allows a broad spectrum of researchers access to high quality laser research equipment, information and technical support, throughout South Africa and to others on the African continent.


The African Laser Centre
The African Laser Centre was created to develop much-needed laser research capacity, infrastructure, technology transfer and applications, throughout Africa.


Public understanding of laser science and engineering
The CSIR National Laser Centre runs a public awareness campaign, aptly named Pulse – Public Understanding of Laser Science and Engineering. Through the Pulse programme, the CSIR communicates its laser activities to the general public and also creates a broader community awareness of the economic and social benefits of science, engineering and technology (SET).


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Overview: CSIR National Laser Centre
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