IN THIS SECTION
Advanced Solid-State Lasers
Following recent advances in diode laser pump technology and optical fibre technology, it is now possible to pump fibre lasers and solid-state lasers with both very high power and very high intensity. This relatively new regime of operation has opened up a wealth of new possibilities including the opportunity to study some new and interesting aspects of laser physics, and to develop some novel, high-power solid-state and fibre sources with important applications potential.
The Advanced Solid-State Sources group currently has vacancies for new students in the following research areas:
Power-scaling concepts for visible fibre
lasers and amplifiers
Supervisor: Prof W A Clarkson
Scaling laser output power and brightness to meet the needs of ever demanding applications is an increasingly important area of research. This project will investigate novel approaches for scaling the output power from cladding-pumped fibre-based laser sources operating in the visible and ultraviolet wavelength regimes.
The project will involve a detailed study into the physics of fibre devices operated at very high power levels with particular emphasis on identifying methods for controlling beam quality, polarisation and operating wavelength.
A key element of the project will be to explore novel nonlinear frequency conversion schemes for extending wavelength coverage across the visible and ultraviolet regions at very high power levels. This project will involve close collaboration with one of the world’s leading manufacturers of visible solid-state lasers (based in the UK).
Optical amplifier technology for ultrafast fibre lasers
Supervisors: Prof W A Clarkson and Dr Jacob MacKenzie
Ultrafast fibre lasers operating in the picosecond and femtosecond regimes have seen dramatic development over recent years fuelled by the prospect of a growing number of applications in areas such as precision materials processing and laser surgery. Scaling the output pulse energy and peak power to meet the needs of these applications and others is the underlying motivation for this project.
The project will investigate new optical amplifier architectures that combine the advantages of rare-earth doped fibre and crystal-based amplifiers to allow unprecedented power levels to be reached.
This research will be supported by an Industrial Case Studentship and as such will involve close collaboration with one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ultrafast fibre lasers (based in the UK).
The studentship will be supplemented by an additional industrial bursary of £3,500 - £5,000 per annum.
Advanced high power two-micron fibre lasers
Supervisor: Prof W A Clarkson
Two-micron fibre laser technology has the potential to open up a wealth of new applications in areas such as industrial laser processing, medicine, defence and optical communications. Moreover, significant power scaling advantages can be gained by moving from traditional ytterbium-doped fibre lasers operating in the one-micron band to the two-micron band.
The main focus of the project will be to create a world leading power-scalable two-micron fibre laser platform based on holmium-doped fibres for operation in continuous-wave, pulsed (nanosecond) and ultrafast (picosecond, femtosecond) regimes. The project will also explore various nonlinear frequency conversion schemes for extending wavelength coverage to the mid-infrared band (~3 – 5 μm).
The project is supported by the EU under the seventh framework programme and hence involves collaboration with industrial and academic partners from across Europe.
The studentship will be accompanied by an additional industrial bursary of between £3,500 and £5,000 per annum.
Supervisor: Prof W A Clarkson
Laguerre-Gaussian (LG0m) modes with a doughnut-shaped beam profile have many unique properties and have found use in a diverse range of applications from ‘laser tweezers’ to laser processing of materials.
This project will explore a novel approach for generating hollow laser beams (LG0m modes) directly within a laser resonator exploiting recent advances in cladding-pumped fibre laser technology and solid-state laser technology.
Our approach offers a route to very high average power levels with flexibility in mode of operation and operating wavelength. The project will investigate the underlying physics of hollow-beam generation via this approach and the fundamental limits. Particular emphasis will be directed pulsed mode of operation, and the generation of high peak powers and high pulse energies where there is a wealth of exciting applications.
Ultrafast two-micron fibre lasers
Supervisors: Prof W A Clarkson and Dr Jonathan Price
Two-micron fiber laser technology has the potential to open a new area of communications and industrial application research as a host of applications require specific characteristics available from this the eye-safe region of the spectrum. There are significant and well-known power scaling advantages by moving from Yb-fibers at 1.05 microns to the two-micron band.
The main focus of the project will be to create world leading high power Ho-doped silica fiber lasers in CW and femtosecond regimes. The work will also include the development of double-clad multi-mode Tm fiber lasers in simple oscillator configurations to provide light in the wavelength band ~1.9 to 2μm for pumping the Ho-doped fibers. This enables ultra-high-average-powers at 2.05-2.15 μm wavelengths. Modelocked sources will be used for state-of-the-art mid-IR continuum sources based on novel microstructured Tellurite fibers developed at the ORC.
Depending on the interests of the student, work could include trialling industrial applications (e.g. transparent plastic cutting and photo-voltaic cell scribing). A wide variety of related technology is being developed by project partners to support this research including fibers, pump diodes, modulators, carbon nanotube (CNT) and graphene based modelockers and long-wavelength detectors.
A post-doctoral researcher will also be working in this area, providing a strong foundation for a talented PhD student.
Copyright University of Southampton 2006