The aim of kW-flexiburst is to develop a high-power Ultra-short Pulse (USP) laser generating bursts that can be arbitrarily adjusted in terms of burst repetition rate, intra-burst repetition rate, number of pulses per burst, relative intensities in the burst while maintaining 1 kW average power. This will be enabled by a radically new concept of seed oscillator, which offers the opportunity to work at GHz repetition rates.
This high power USP laser will be adaptable to efficiently process any material (metals, dielectrics, semiconductors) using a variety of laser parameters that can be continuously tuned from a few high energy pulses to a large number of pulses in a high repetition rate burst.
The flexible laser performance will be demonstrated in relevant industrial applications, which require high throughput/ high quality laser processing methods and therefore will benefit significantly from the high mean power and the tunable pulses provided by the kW-flexiburst system.
The selected applications span a wide range of industrial fields from micro-structuring of metals, ceramics and other dielectrics, drilling of hard substrates and cutting of transparent materials. Each of them carries the potential for significant or even disruptive improvements of the related industrial production process by employing the kW-flexiburst laser technology in combination with the beam delivery concepts and process methods proposed by the project.
The specific objectives of the kW-flexiburst project are to:
- Develop an ultra-fast USP laser unit in the kW range, emitting bursts of pulses with flexible choice of pulse and burst parameters.
- Explore new routes for laser processing of transparent materials, including drilling and cutting through thick materials with GHz-burst pulses.
- Demonstrate high throughput ablation of metals for the generation of 3D surface structures on industrial scale cylindrical rollers, with high texturing speeds.
- Demonstrate GHz-burst pulse drilling in ceramic substrates with a high throughput.
- Demonstrate high speed fabrication of precision holes and laser turning of micro components.