The tremendous success of lasers in industry resulted in massive demand for photonics-based solutions. At the moment lasers are inseparable part of fields like communications, medicine, science and heavy industry. This is due to outstanding versatility of light, as it can be used as means for both measurement and direct processing. One of the newest developments in the field is advent of ultra-fast femtosecond (fs) lasers.
Alongside all the standard laser properties, these lasers add capability to control temporal and thermal characteristics of light-matter interaction as well as eliminate any material related restrictions due ultra-high light intensities achievable.
For these reasons fs lasers are predicated to play pivotal role in 4th industrial revolution with ultrafast laser marked projected to grow up to 7.1 billion dollars by 2021.
Direct surface treatment is one of the key areas where fs lasers proved highly promising. Specific light-matter interaction regimes enabled by fs pulses allow to create surface patterns in scales ranging from nanoripples to millimetre-sized grooves. Such surface features could be made into either repelling or adhering.
As it is direct process applicable for any kind of surface metal patterning is especially interesting, as it could find use if fields like medicine, aerospace, maritime and tool manufacturing, replacing various coatings, lubricants or enabling entirely new properties.
The main objective of FemtoSurf is to exploit the newest advances in laser development for creation of industrial-grade 2-3 kW-level fs laser that would be integrated in propose-built optical chain enabling multi-beam processing (up to 100 simultaneous beams) with individually controlled spatial distributions in each laser spot, integrated into a fully automated processing setup for efficient patterning arbitrary shaped metal components with sizes exceeding several meters while retaining micrometre level precision.