Novel solid-state laser facility
The CSIR’s solid-state laser research and development (R&D) laboratory is housed in a class 1 000 clean room facility with isolated class 100 and class 10 areas for highly sensitive dust-free work. The laboratory is well equipped with a range of optical diagnostic equipment that supports the development, analysis and optimisation of novel laser systems across the optical spectrum.
The research conducted in novel solid-state lasers is mainly aimed at power and energy scaling while maintaining good beam quality of the laser output. This includes research into novel laser concepts and geometries, thermal handling, laser resonator design and numerical modelling of the laser. Other areas of interest are special operating regimes such as high-spectral purity and single frequency.
CSIR researchers and engineers work closely with clients to develop tailored laser sources suited for their application. The researchers develop the right light for the job, delivering custom laser prototypes directly to clients. With access to facilities and experts at the advanced photonics manufacturing facility, rugged laser systems can be manufactured and standard laser systems, based on existing designs, are set to be produced in the near future. Should the required laser already be available commercially, CSIR laser technology experts also offer specialised consulting services to help perfect the solution.
The CSIR is well positioned to provide industry with access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Using this facility, researchers have designed and developed a number of cutting-edge laser systems over the past years and have considerable expertise in efficient solid-state lasers in the visible and infrared region. Specifically, novel infrared laser sources have been developed operating at 1 μm, 1.3 μm, 1.9 - 2.1 μm and 3 - 5 μm. Some of the CSIR’s most recent successes in this domain include the use of thulium and holmium gain material to achieve power and energy scaling in bulk crystal rod and slab lasers.
In terms of engineering capabilities, the facility has been pivotal in the development of rugged and portable laser systems that can withstand different environmental conditions, as well as ultra-compact lasers with strict requirements on size and efficiency.