Scaling output power and brightness from laser sources is an activity that has pre-occupied many within the laser community ever since the invention of the laser. This has been driven partly by curiosity, but increasingly by the needs of a wealth of applications and in turn is opening up the prospect of many new applications.
Research in the Advanced Solid-State Sources and Applications group is directed mainly towards investigating new concepts for scaling output power and brightness from fibre lasers and amplifiers, crystal solid-state lasers and hybrid fibre-bulk lasers, and investigating novel schemes for efficient nonlinear frequency conversion of these sources to generate intense light in the ultraviolet, visible and mid-infrared spectral regimes.
The group has a very broad range of interests and activities within the high power laser area, and has close links with many other research groups within the ORC and with other laboratories and industry. A key element of our work is the study of the underlying physics of optical sources operating at high power levels to allow the formulation of new strategies for improving overall performance and extending functionality. The ultimate goal of this work is to develop technologies for the next generation of high power optical sources, and in so doing address the demands from a growing number of applications in areas such as precision materials processing, medicine, laser radar, remote monitoring and sensing.
Current research themes: Advanced concepts for scaling output power in fibre lasers and amplifiers;Novel fibre architectures for scaling core area and brightness enhancement;New concepts for pulsed fibre sources;Nonlinear frequency conversion schemes to access the ultraviolet, visible and mid-infrared spectral regimes;Hybrid fibre-bulk laser schemes for scaling output pulse energy;High-power fibre-based superfluorescent sources and their applications;Planar solid-state sources;Laser-induced cooling of solids;Cryogenic operation of lasers at high powers;Novel pump beam focussing and in-coupling schemes;High power photonics;Laser beam combination;Thermal effects and their mitigation