The Laser Development Department concentrates on the development of laser sources for a variety of applications. The research focus areas of the LZH in the field of laser development are in the manufacturing and testing of modern, diode-pumped solid-state and fiber lasers. In its activities, the Laser Development Department covers the complete spectrum, from basic research to industrial applications.
In the field of ultrashort pulse fiber oscillators, resonator-internal pulse dynamics are being investigated. Also, innovative concepts for compact, mode-locked fiber oscillators with wavelengths around 2 µm are being developed for structuring organic solar cells. Additionally, completely fiber-based ultrashort amplifier systems for ophthalmology are being developed.
Another focus of research of the department is the realization of highly-stable, single-frequency, diode-pumped solid-state lasers and laser amplifiers for gravitational wave detection. Particularly laser systems for use in the gravitational wave detectors Advanced LIGO were delivered and installed last year.
Furthermore, fiber-based laser sources with variable pulse parameters for industrial applications in the marking industry, and supercontinuum sources for use in life sciences are developed. The department has a comprehensive range of equipment for developing and characterizing innovative, passive and active fiber-optic components, which are used for example in fiber oscillators and fiber amplifiers.
Apart from the broad-based use of lasers, the department of laser development has specialized in realizing laser systems for use in scientific missions in space, and in meeting the associated technical requirements, such as lifetime, weight and output. Not only optical design, but also the mechanical, thermal and structural design are being performed and verified at the LZH. The development of prototype models of a laser for the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) Instrument for the ExoMars-Mission is in the foreground.
Three research groups of the Cluster of Excellence QUEST are located in the department, focussing on single-frequency lasers for gravitational wave detection, fiber optics and photonic devices for use in outer space.
The work of the department is organized in the groups, ultrafast photonics, fiber optics, space technologies and single frequency lasers, according to the thematic priority.