Dr Darryl Naidoo
Naidoo’s research is centered on laser beam shaping for the generation of transverse higher-order modes in solid-state laser resonators.
Naidoo’s research is centered on laser beam shaping for the generation of transverse higher-order modes in solid-state laser resonators. Such lasers are of considerable interest in the industry, the military and academia, and have been exploited in applications such as remote sensing, ultrafast spectroscopy, laser precision materials processing and free-space communication applications.
His involvement in laser beam shaping includes the selection of pure Laguerre-Gaussian vortex beams, cylindrical vector vortex beams, flat-top beams and fractal laser light. This incorporates the standard characterisation of laser light, M2, power, wavefront analysis and modal decomposition (amplitude and phase). In addition to beam shaping, his team has demonstrated several world firsts in the areas of cylindrical vector vortex beams and ray-wave duality.
His research has resulted in publications in nature photonics, optics, and light sciences and applications. Naidoo’s current research focus is aimed at further understanding light-matter interaction through laser beam shaping. He is exploring the shaping of laser light of medium (1 W – 100 W) to high power (100 W – 5 kW) systems via solid-state resonators, solid-state bulk amplifiers and external approaches with fibre lasers.
The shaped beams are to be used to study the dynamics of heat flow in the material and the changes in the crystallography under material melting. The objective of this work is to enhance laser-enabled manufacturing processes such as additive manufacturing, surface hardening and laser cutting.
Naidoo has received numerous awards and research grants for his work. He also sits on several international committees and holds an Honorary Research Fellowship at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Expertise: Laser science; Laser resonators; Laser beam shaping; Programming (Mathematica and MatLab)
- BSc (Pure and Applied Physics), University of KwaZulu-Natal, (2007)
- BSc (Honours) (Physics) (cum laude), University of KwaZulu-Natal, (2008)
- MSc (Physics) (summa cum laude), University of KwaZulu-Natal, (2011)
- PhD (Physics), University of Stellenbosch, (2014)
Dr Darryl Naidoodnaidoo3@csir.co.za