EC-funded fiber-laser project LIFT takes off

November 11, 2009--The European Commission (EC) has announced the launch of Leadership In Fibre Laser Technology (LIFT), a collaborative, large-scale integrated project funded by the EC. The 16 million Euro project will expand the limits of advanced materials processing applications through a new generation of high-brightness fiber lasers.

November 11, 2009--The European Commission (EC) has announced the launch of Leadership In Fibre Laser Technology (LIFT), a collaborative, large-scale integrated project funded by the EC. The 16 million Euro project will expand the limits of advanced materials processing applications through a new generation of high-brightness fiber lasers.

The European industry today leads in industrial laser processing, says the EC; continuous innovation and adoption of novel technologies are required to maintain this position. Fiber lasers represent only 10% of an estimated market volume of 2 billion Euros worldwide for industrial lasers. The market share of fiber lasers is expected to double by 2010 and double again by 2013, when fiber lasers will account for more than 30% of all industrial lasers sold each year.

Innovation in many areas
The intent is that LIFT (http://www.lift-project.eu) will establish an internationally leading position for Europe in the science, application, and production technologies of fiber lasers. The consortium will develop innovative laser sources with intelligent beam-delivery systems and dynamic beam manipulation in continuous-wave, nanosecond pulsed, and femtosecond pulsed laser sources, operating at power levels ranging into the kilowatt regime. LIFT will enable a greater market share for existing applications, create new application areas for manufacturing, and build a European network of component suppliers and laser-system manufacturers. Demonstrations will show the potential of this technology in domains where there are large existing markets such as high-speed remote cutting and welding, medical diagnostics and treatment, and flat-panel-display patterning, or where there are large potential markets such as solar-cell fabrication and cold ablation for ceramics manufacturing.

Four important application areas are: laser materials processing, health-care delivery, cost-effective manufacturing of solar cells for renewable energy, and manufacturing of the next-generation of ICs with nanometer feature size.

The consortium includes Fraunhofer IWS, Fraunhofer IOF (Germany), European Photonics Industry Consortium EPIC (France), Oclaro (Switzerland), Eolite Systems (France), Quantel (France), Time-Bandwidth Products (Switzerland), Gooch & Housego (United Kingdom), Rofin Sinar Laser (Germany), Tampere University of Technology (Finland) 3S Photonics (France), Politecnico di Torino (Italy), University of Swansea (United Kingdom), SPI Laser (United Kingdom), Dilas Diodenlaser (Germany), Perfos (France), NKT/Crystal Fibre (Denmark), Optoskand (Sweden), IxFibre (France), Raicol Crystals (Israel), and Corelase (Finland).
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--posted by John Wallace, johnw@pennwell.com

www.laserfocusworld.com
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