Project

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Ultrafast semiconductor disk lasers: enablers for widespread bio-medical imaging

Applicant Emaury Florian
Number 173819
Funding scheme Bridge - Proof of Concept
Research institution Institut für Quantenelektronik ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Technical Physics
Start/End 01.04.2017 - 31.05.2018
Approved amount 130'000.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Technical Physics
Neurophysiology and Brain Research

Keywords (6)

Ultrasfast lasers; Microscopy; Photonics; Bio-Imaging; Semiconductor lasers; Medical imaging

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Le but de ce projet était de développer un prototype laser fiable et transportable, à base de laser à disque à semi-conducteurs pour démontrer la faisabilité industrielle de ce concept et établir les exigences d’une industrialisation à grande échelle. Ce prototype était également destiné à attirer les premiers utilisateurs en effectuant des tests avec plusieurs partenaires. Parallèlement, le volet commercial du projet a fait l'objet d'une étude approfondie afin d'obtenir une définition précise des marchés et de leurs segmentations. Ce projet visait en particulier à servir le marché de la microscopie à plusieurs photons, qui nécessite des sources femtosecondes à faible coût pouvant délivrer plusieurs longueurs d'ondes spécifiques. Ce project a été arrété du fait d'opportunités commerciales limitées.
Lay summary

Le fort intérêt de l'industrie et de la recherche pour des sources laser peu couteuses, compactes, fiables et délivrant des impulsions dans le domaine femtoseconde (<10e-12 s) a poussé les développements dans la recherche, aboutissant vers de nombreux types de produits commerciaux. Des sources laser ultra-rapides avec des taux de répétition très élevés (> 1 GHz, c'est-à-dire plus de 1 milliard d'impulsions par seconde) présentent en particulier un grand intérêt en raison de leur simplicité et de leur compacité par rapport aux lasers à base d’amplificateurs à plusieurs étages qui sont beaucoup plus complexes. Les lasers à disque à semi-conducteurs ultra-rapides combinent un bon rapport coût-efficacité et une faible complexité tout en délivrant des impulsions femtosecondes de haute qualité. La technologie semi-conducteur permet une production en série à échelle industrielle, tout en combinant la liberté de choisir la longueur d'onde d'émission pour chaque application par l'ingénierie de la structure semi-conducteur. Ces avantages clés permettront le développement de lasers femtosecondes abordables pour de nombreuses applications.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 01.11.2018

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
The goal of this project was to develop a turn-key, reliable and transportable semiconductor disk laser prototype to demonstrate the industrial-grade feasibility of this laser concept and to establish the requirements for full scale industrialization. This prototype development was also meant to attract early adopters by performing tests with several partners. In parallel, the business side of the project was investigated to reach a precise definition of the market segments. This project aimed, in particular, to address the market of multi-photon microscopy, which requires low-cost femtosecond sources at several specific wavelengths. This project was however stopped due to the current limited business opportunities.
Lay summary

The strong industry and research interest in inexpensive, compact and reliable ultrafast laser sources with pulses in the femtosecond domain (< 10e-12 s) has driven research in several ultrafast laser branches towards commercial products. Very high repetition rate ultrafast laser sources (> 1 GHz, i.e. more than 1 billion pulses per second) are of high interest due to their simplicity and compactness compared to more complex multi-stage amplifier lasers. Ultrafast semiconductor disk lasers combine cost-efficiency and low complexity with high performance femtosecond pulses. The semiconductor technology allows for mass-production on wafer scale. Further, the emission wavelength can be tailored to the application via band-gap engineering. These key advantages will enable the development of affordable femtosecond lasers for many applications.  

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 01.11.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Name Institute

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
ScopeM/ ETHZ - Dr. Gabor Csucs Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
UZH/HIFO / Prof. Helmchen Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
ETH Zurich / Prof. Ursula Keller Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
SPIE BiOS 2018 Poster Multiphoton microscopy in every lab: the promise of ultrafast semiconductor disk lasers 27.01.2018 San Francisco, CA, United States of America Emaury Florian;
15th Advanced Imaging Methods Workshop 2018 Poster Femtosecond semiconductor disk lasers: a promising tool for the future of multiphoton imaging 24.01.2018 Berkeley, CA, United States of America Emaury Florian;
European Conference on Biomedical Optics 2017 Talk given at a conference Multiphoton microscopy in every lab: the promise of ultrafast semiconductor disk lasers 25.06.2017 Munich Germany, Germany Emaury Florian;
Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics: Applications and Technology 2017 Talk given at a conference Ultrafast semiconductor disk lasers for in vivo multiphoton imaging 14.05.2017 San Jose, California, United States of America Emaury Florian;
Focus On Microscopy 2017 Poster In vivo multiphoton imaging using ultrafast semiconductor disk lasers 09.04.2017 Bordeaux, France Emaury Florian;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
EPIC Biophotonics workshop Talk 30.11.2017 Amesterdam, Netherlands Emaury Florian;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Electro-Optics: "The road from research to business: challenges and triumphs" ETH Phys Website International 2017
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) MicPulse Website Own Website International 2017
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Post on Twitter Twitter International 2017
Media relations: print media, online media The road from research to business: challenges and triumphs Electrootpics Magazine International 2017

Abstract

This project aims to revolutionize the market of ultrafast-pulsed laser sources with semiconductor technology. The goal is to validate the development of affordable laser sources in order to provide a suitable solution that enables research and industrial personnel to perform advanced optical non-linear processes such as bio-medical imaging.
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