Ultrashort pulse lasers for precise processing: Overview on a current German research initiative
Ultrashort laser pulses provide a powerful means of processing a wide variety of materials with highest precision and minimal damage. In order to exploit the full potential of this technology, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has launched an initiative with 20 Million EUR funding about two years ago. Within 9 joint research projects, different aspects from novel concepts for robust and powerful laser sources to reliable components with high damage thresholds and dynamic beam shaping and steering are investigated. Applications include eye surgery as well as the processing of semiconductors, carbon fiber reinforced plastics and metals. The paper provides an overview on the different projects and highlights first results.