Jan 3, 2022

Photonics and applied physics labs at University of Jena use OpticStudio to gain precision in ultrafast bulk laser processing

Category: Product News
Photonics and applied physics labs at University of Jena use OpticStudio to gain precision in ultrafast bulk laser processing

University of Jena photonics lab uses OpticStudio to gain precision in ultrafast bulk laser processing.

Ray tracing and an extensive catalog help researchers offset common laser modification aberrations

The Institute of Applied Physics (IAP) at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena in Jena, Germany conducts basic and applied research in the fields of optical design; micro-, nano- and quantum optics; and fiber and waveguide optics, as well as ultrafast optics. The Abbe Center of Photonics (ACP), also at U Jena, is a leading European center for research and education in optics and photonics, as well as in the development and transfer of optical technologies.

These two schools conducted recent experiments on bulk laser processing—the cutting, drilling, engraving, or other structural modification of dense material using high-powered, high-frequency pulse duration "ultrafast" lasers, which have pulse durations measured in the picosecond (10-12) to femtosecond (10-15) ranges. The extreme precision required for this activity entails designing an optical system whose lens can offset the spherical aberrations caused by certain processing elements.

Qingfeng Li, a postdoctoral researcher at U Jena, studies ultrafast laser welding of brittle materials (such as glass-metal and silicon-metal) and developing flexible, fast, and benchmarked vectorial models for focused laser beam systems. Li used OpticStudio to analyze various optical system designs and determine the design that would most accurately compensate for these aberrations and produce an optimal bulk laser processing solution.

"Lens manufacturers provide specifications, but on their own, these were insufficient for our purposes," said Li. "Our laser applications use different wavelengths from a typical optics project, and we do more complex things like beam shaping. For the work we're doing, we needed ray tracing in OpticStudio to give us the aberration magnitude data, so we could compensate for that with our design."

The range of lens data stored in OpticStudio was also a key component in Li's success. "The sheer size of the OpticStudio lens catalog was definitely helpful to our analysis," said Li. "Having all lenses we needed to test available in the catalog made us even more efficient in our work."

Read the full story to find out the 4-step process U Jena applied in OpticStudio for determining offset requirements for optical designs in bulk laser processing scenarios. And to learn more about OpticStudio, the industry standard for optical design software, try it for free!