Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis winners advance additive manufacturing and Raman spectroscopy

July 19, 2018
The prizes totally 100,000 euros will be made September 21, at the headquarters of the Trumpf Group.

IMAGE. Group photo of the three Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis winners, with team members working on EHLA, DELPHI, and RamanBioAssay; Dr. Peter Leibinger first row, far right. (Courtesy Berthold Leibinger Stiftung)

The 10th Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis Prize winners and finalists were announced in Ditzingen, Germany on July 13, following a day of presentations. The prizes totaling 100,000 euros will be made September 21, 2018, at the headquarters of the Trumpf Group in Ditzingen.

The three winners are:

First Prize: Extreme High-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA)--to Thomas Schopphoven, Dr. Andres Gasser and Gerhard Maria Backes at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, Aachen and chair for Digital Additive Production (DAP), RWTH Aachen

EHLA is a new, highly productive variant of laser material deposition. It eliminates coating processes' shortcomings, in particular hard chrome plating and thermal spraying, providing an eco-friendly and economical alternative. This process also has great potential in the rapidly growing additive manufacturing market.

Second Prize: 3D Laser Lithography for Photonic Integration (DELPHI)--to the Project Group DELPHI (Prof. Dr. Christian Koos, Alois Hauk, Philipp-Immanuel Dietrich, Dr. Nicole Lindenmann, Andreas Hofmann, Tobias Hoose, Muhammad Rodlin Billah, Matthias Blaicher) at Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT) and Institute of Photonics und Quantum Electronics (IPQ), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Vanguard Photonics GmbH, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, and Institute for Automation and Applied Informatics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

The DELPHI project, headed by Christian Koos, is dedicated to industrial adoption of femtosecond laser lithography as a tool for 3D additive nanofabrication in integrated photonics. The concept of multi-photon polymerization is exploited to fabricate single-mode photonic waveguides and free-form micro-optical elements for efficient coupling of optical chips.

Third Prize. Faster Assessment of Resistances–RamanBioAssay--to Prof. Dr. Jürgen Popp and Prof. Dr. Ute Neugebauer at Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology e.V., Jena, Institute of Physical Chemistry (IPC), Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Biophotonics Diagnostics GmbH, Jena, and Center for Sepsis Control & Care, Jena University Hospital

RamanBioAssay is a laser-based method for a rapid identification of bacteria together with the characterization of their phenotypical resistance to antibiotics in less than four hours. The laser light is used to excite Raman spectra containing important fingerprint information about the identity and resistance patterns of the bacterial pathogen.


The following five finalists received a diploma and sculpture at the jury session on July 13:

Laser-Based Ion Accelerator for Proton Therapy of Cancer --The approach of producing fast protons by the interaction of high intensity short laser pulses with “snow” targets is a promising development towards ultra-compact, cost-effective, and affordable ion accelerator systems for various applications including production of radioactive isotopes, neutron production radiography, fusion, and various forms of radiation therapy.

By Professor Dr. Arie Zigler, Hebrew University, Jerusalem and HIL Applied Medical Ltd (Jerusalem, Israel).

ELI-ALPS SYLOS1 Laser System--A laser system for the Extreme Light Infrastructure ELI-ALPS to enable next generation experiments in attosecond science. The high peak and average power, cascaded optical parametric chirped pulse amplification system is driven by diode-pumped lasers. It achieves more than 53 W average power combined with 5.5 TW peak power and sub-9 fs pulse duration.

By Project Group SYLOS1 (Rimantas Budriūnas, Dr. Tomas Stanislauskas, Dr. Jonas Adamonis, Dr. Aidas Aleknavičius, Dr. Gediminas Veitas, Darius Gadonas, Stanislovas Balickas, Dr. Andrejus Michailovas, Dr. Arūnas Varanavičius), Vilnius University Laser Research Center, Light Conversion (MGF Šviesos konversija, UAB), Vilnius, Ekspla, UAB, Vilnius, Institute of Physics, State research institute Center for Physical Sciences and Technology, Vilnius

Ultrafast Laser Materials Property Microscopy--Materials property microscopy can be applied to almost any material and accelerates experimental measurements of several key materials properties by integrating laser pump-probe time-domain thermoreflectance measurements with high-precision modeling of ultrafast laser induced thermophysical responses at both micron-scale spatial resolution and femtosecond temporal resolution.

By Prof. Dr. Ji-Cheng Zhao and Prof. Dr. David G. Cahill, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

Laser Shoes in Parkinson’s Disease--Freezing of gait is a severe symptom of Parkinson’s Disease. Patients experience this as if their feet remain glued to the floor. By consciously looking at visual information on the floor, such as objects or lines and stepping over them, they can overcome their blockages during walking. The laser shoes translate this observation into a unique ambulatory visual cueing device.

By Dr. Murielle Ferraye, Lise Pape, Prof. Dr. Bastiaan R. Bloem and Prof. Dr. Bettina Debû, Department of Neurology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmagen, University of Twente, Enschede, Walk with Path Ltd., London, Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience, Université Grenoble Alpes, La Tronche

Laser Fired Contact for More Efficient Solar Cells--The laser fired contact technology presents for the first time an industrial way to mass-produce the more efficient PERC solar cell concept. For over ten years, the process has been developed in close collaboration with leading companies until successfully used in the world's first mass production, eventually establishing a new solar cell industry standard.

By Dr. Ralf Preu and Dr. Jan-Frederik Nekarda, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Freiburg

Since 2000 the biennial international Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis has been open to both individuals and project groups with innovations regarding the application or generation of laser light in any industry or field of technology. For more information on the private foundation Berthold Leibinger Stiftung and the laser awards, visit

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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