With 500 employees and more than 19,500 m² net floor space the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is worldwide one of the most important development and contract research institutes of its specific field. The activities cover a wide range of areas such as the development of new laser beam sources and components, precise laser based metrology, testing technology and industrial laser processes. This includes laser cutting, caving, drilling, welding and soldering as well as surface treatment, micro processing and rapid manufacturing.
Furthermore, the Fraunhofer ILT is engaged in laser plant technology, process control, modelling and simulation as well as in the entire system technology. We offer feasibility studies, process qualification and laser integration in customer specific manufacturing lines.
The Fraunhofer ILT is part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, with 72 institutes, more than 25,000 employees and an annual research budget of 2.3 billion euros.
Fraunhofer ILT’s experienced laser and optical engineers build beam sources which have tailor-made spatial, temporal and spectral characteristics and ranging from μW to GW. These sources span a wide range of types: from diode lasers to solid-state lasers, from high power cw lasers to ultrashort pulse lasers and from single frequency systems to broadband tunable lasers.
Whether our customers are laser manufacturers or users, they do not only receive tailor-made prototypes for their individual needs, but also expert consultation to optimize existing systems.
Furthermore, Fraunhofer ILT has a great deal of expertise in beam shaping and guiding, packaging of optical high power components and designing optical components. This field also specializes in designing highly efficient free form optics. In general, the lasers and optics developed in Aachen can be applied in areas ranging from laser material processing and measurement engineering to illumination applications and medical technology.
Within the scope of satellite-based metrology, e.g. of gravitational waves or the gravitational field of earth, the fiber amplifier presented has been developed and confirmed TRL 5. The monolithic amplifier is seeded by an NPRO with a linewidth below 10 kHz. The output power is stabilized via pump diode modulation and achieves a RIN performance of < 0.01/sqrt(Hz) between 0.001 to 10 Hz and a polarization extinction ratio of >24 dB. Further SBS-free power scaling to > 10 W has been demonstrated.
The use of monocrystalline synthetic CVD diamond as an optical material provides unique potential for the future of high-power laser applications thanks to its extremely large refractive index, excellent thermal conductivity, high hardness and chemical resistance. In a cooperation between Fraunhofer ILT, IAF and IPT single-crystal diamonds with dimensions up to 7 x 7 mm² have been grown and processed into spherical and aspherical lenses for beam guiding and forming.
Within the scope of the French/German Climate Mission MERLIN, a satellite-based LIDAR system will be used to measure the detailed global methane concentration. The transmitter consists of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser and an optical parametric oscillator, which converts the laser wavelength to a methane absorption line at 1645 nm. Beyond the demonstration of the required output parameters, the packaging concept has to fulfill the challenging stability aspects of a space mission.